Diabetes 101

Diabetes—sure it’s a challenge, but it’s manageable.
And, TeamingUp can help!

As you may already know, diabetes is a condition in which you have a higher than normal level of blood sugar. Let’s start with a review of the basics: how blood sugar works in your body and what your body needs to do to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

What's going on in your body?

  • There’s a lot going on in your body when it comes to your blood sugar. The cells in your body use sugar as fuel to help your organs and tissues function properly. Blood sugar comes from two main sources:

    1. Carbohydrates in food
    2. Breakdown of sugar stored in your liver

    Let’s focus on two of the hormones your body makes to help control your blood sugar levels during the day. These hormones are called insulin and GLP-1.

  • The role of GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1)

    GLP-1 is released by the small intestine after you eat and slows down the rate at which food leaves your stomach. By slowing down the food, it slows the amount of sugar that enters your blood after a meal. GLP-1 acts in the pancreas to increase the release of insulin when your blood sugar is high, such as after eating. Insulin helps control your blood sugar. GLP-1 also helps prevent the liver from releasing too much sugar into the bloodstream.

  • How GLP-1 works

    How GLP Works

  • The role of insulin

     Under normal conditions, when sugar levels rise in the blood, the pancreas (an organ located behind the stomach) produces and releases insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps move sugar from your blood into your cells, where it’s used as fuel, or stored in your liver and muscles for your body to use later.

  • How insulin works

Type 2: What's happening?

In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn't make enough insulin and/or has trouble using the insulin it makes. As a result, your body's cells are unable to receive and use blood sugar for energy. The most common form of diabetes, type 2 is a manageable condition that may get harder to manage over time without appropriate diet, exercise, or treatment, because the body can't keep up with the increased demand for insulin.

Type 1: What's happening?

In type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce insulin. As a result, the sugar can’t get into your body’s cells and stays in the bloodstream. Insulin needs to be added to your body so that sugar can enter your cells, where it can be used for energy. Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2.

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The more I understood what was going on in my body, the more I understood why I had to make some changes

Greg P., TeamingUp Champion