University of Illinois Extension

What is diabetes?

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Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose in the blood is higher than normal. High blood glucose is called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from foods containing carbohydrates and is found in everyone’s blood. Glucose is transported through the blood to all tissues and organs to be used for energy. Blood glucose should not be too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (hyperglycemia). The body usually keeps blood glucose within a certain range by using stored glucose when needed, or storing the glucose when it is not needed. The body is normally able to control blood glucose levels using a hormone called insulin. Insulin is released by the pancreas in response to increased levels of glucose in the blood. With diabetes, however, the body has trouble making or using insulin. For this reason, blood glucose levels rise and hyperglycemia occurs.

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This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.