What Is Diabetes?

Institutes & Services > Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which you have too much sugar in your blood (hyperglycemia). It is a lifelong disease that can lead to serious health problems. With proper care of your disease you can greatly reduce the risk of these health problems which include damage to your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves and eyes.

Normally, insulin moves sugars from food into the cells. The cells use the sugars for energy. The lack of insulin or the lack of normal response to insulin causes excess sugar to build up in the blood. The cells are unable to use the sugar for energy. You may be able to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise. As diabetes progresses, some people may need to add pills to control their sugar, and some people may need to use insulin shots.

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