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Living Well with Diabetes

7 Your body breaks down the food you eat into glucose and other nutrients. Liver Small intestine Esophagus Stomach Pancreas (behind stomach) Large intestine Understanding Diabetes The body digests the food you eat to use as fuel. This fuel supplies energy to your body’s cells. When you have type 2 diabetes, the fuel has a hard time entering most cells. How the Body Gets Energy The digestive system breaks down food, resulting in a variety of nutrients including sugar (glucose). Some of the glucose is stored in the liver. Most of it enters the bloodstream and travels to cells to be used as fuel. Glucose needs the help of a hormone called insulin to enter most cells. Insulin is made in the pancreas. It is released into the bloodstream in response to meals and also by the presence of glucose in the blood. Think of insulin as a key. When insulin reaches a cell, it unlocks a doorway in the cell wall. This creates an opening that allows glucose to enter the cell. Some cells do not need insulin and glucose can enter them without it. PLAY ANIMATION Digestive System PLAY ANIMATION Digestive Process


Living Well with Diabetes
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