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Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that happens when your body can't use insulin the right way or when your pancreas can't make enough insulin. It often affects people who are overweight and not physically active.
Insulin helps sugar (glucose) move from the blood into the body's cells, where it can be used for energy or stored. Without insulin, sugar can't get into the cells, and your blood sugar gets too high. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to problems with your eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.
You may be able to manage diabetes by eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. But some people need medicines to help control their blood sugar levels.
Last Revised: July 16, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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