What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not use glucose properly for energy production. Glucose can be found in the food we eat. After it is taken into the body, it is absorbed into the blood sugar and is eventually taken up by different cells in the body and converted into energy. The process by which this glucose is used involves the pancreas and insulin.

The pancreas is located behind the stomach. Inside the pancreas are clusters of cells called islets of Langerhans. And within each of these islets are specialized cells. One of these types of cells, the beta cells, produce insulin.

Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas into the blood stream after glucose enters the blood. Insulin then travels with glucose to different cell tissues such as in fat, muscle, liver and heart. The insulin attaches to these organ cells. After it attaches to the specific cells, insulin then opens "gates" to allow glucose to get into the cells of the organ. Where it is then converted into energy.

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