What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition, not a disease. Like any condition, it has to be managed and if managed well, it will not significantly reduce life expectancy, increase your risk of disease, stroke; nor will it damage your kidneys, your eyes, or your nerves.

In order to understand diabetes, it’s essential first to understand the role of insulin in your body. Insulin is a hormone used by the body to allow the absorption of glucose from the blood into the cells of the body, which in return lowers blood glucose levels. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, an organ located in the abdomen, just behind the stomach.

However, when insulin is not present or rendered ineffective, the body’s control of its blood sugar “economy” will be compromised, producing the condition known as diabetes. Diabetes is present when the blood glucose (sugar) before breakfast is above 6.9, or when another blood test, the A1C is above 6.4. Normal blood sugar levels for people without diabetes is 4.0-6.0.

While there is currently no cure for diabetes, one can still live a happy and healthy life, if the condition is well-managed through dietary, medical, and lifestyle treatments.

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