The main source of energy for all cells in the body is glucose. One way the body gets glucose is from eating foods containing carbohydrates.
- The food you eat is made up of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The food goes into your stomach and is digested.
- During digestion, the body breaks down the carbohydrates into glucose. This glucose enters the bloodstream.
- The rise in blood glucose causes the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream.
- Insulin and glucose travel in the bloodstream to the cells. Insulin acts as a “key” to allow glucose into the cell. Cells use glucose for energy.
Diabetes changes how the body works:
- Without insulin or enough insulin, glucose cannot move out of the blood and into the cells.
- Glucose then builds up in the blood and the body cannot use it for energy. This results in hyperglycemia.