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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Treat Diabetes > What is Diabetes

What is Diabetes

Diabetes means your pancreas and the cells in your body are not working as they should. This leads to high blood sugar.

Take action to manage your blood sugar.

Diabetes means you have too much sugar in your blood.

When your body digests food and drink, sugar (also known as glucose) goes into your blood.

  • When sugar goes into your blood, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin.
  • Insulin helps your body take sugar from your blood and store it in your cells. This stored sugar is used for energy.
  • When insulin takes sugar from your blood it helps manage your blood sugar level.

When you have diabetes your pancreas is not working as it should.

  • When your pancreas is not working as it should, it does not make enough insulin.
  • Without insulin, the sugar in your blood cannot be stored. This causes sugar to collect in your blood.
  • As sugar collects in your blood, it leads to high blood sugar.
  • High blood sugar leads to health problems (known as 'complications').

Take Action

You can take action to manage your blood sugar.

  • Know what foods and drinks raise your blood sugar.
  • Know how exercise and your diabetes medicines help the cells in your body work better.

Use this section to learn more about diabetes and how to manage this disease.

Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016