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What is Diabetes?

Asian mother and daughterDiabetes is a chronic disease in which your body’s pancreas is unable to make or properly use insulin, leading to excess glucose in the blood - high blood sugar levels. Insulin is a key hormone necessary for regulating blood sugar levels; It acts like a key to let glucose into your body’s cells to be used as energy.1-3 It is estimated that 463 million people worldwide have diabetes representing a significant global health imperative that impacts nearly every country around the world.4

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for approximately 90% of all diabetes cases, is a disease largely a result of excess body weight and physical inactivity and causes your body to become resistant or not properly use the insulin being produced. If blood sugar levels are not well-controlled, people with Type 2 diabetes may face additional consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease – each of which have their own risks and challenges that can impact a person’s overall health.1,3 Diabetes however can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed by following a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, not smoking and if necessary, medication.1-4