Skip to main content

Get practical tips emailed straight to your inbox

What exactly is diabetes, you ask?

Diabetes happens when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, doesn’t make any insulin at all, or when your body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it’s supposed to. Insulin has an important job in lowering your blood sugar level, so when you have type 2 diabetes, your body has a tougher time managing your blood sugar.

Turning that food into energy

Our bodies are pretty amazing. We were built to convert the food we eat into energy, and insulin is a key part of this process.

First, let me tell you what happens with sugar:

  • When you eat, some of your food is broken down into sugar
  • Sugar enters your blood
  • Then it travels through your blood to all of your cells. Sugar isn’t always a bad thing! Your body needs that sugar for energy

Next, here's what’s going on with insulin:

  • Insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells in your pancreas
  • Insulin is like a key that helps unlock cells and lets the sugar into the cells to give them energy
  • When sugar moves out of your blood and into your cells, the amount of sugar in your blood goes down

Role of GLP-1

There are a bunch of things that could impact your type 2 diabetes, including a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1. What’s GLP-1, you ask? It’s a natural hormone that helps your body release insulin to help keep blood sugar in check. When your insulin isn’t released at the right time or in the right amount, your blood sugar can get too high.

For more information on GLP-1, how it can impact your type 2 diabetes, and a downloadable discussion guide to use at your next visit with your health care provider, check out

Why you need to get diagnosed

Millions of people are undiagnosed and don’t even know that they have diabetes! Finding out if you have diabetes is important because high blood sugar can damage your body and lead to other health problems if left untreated. When you know that you have diabetes, you can take steps to help lower your risk of complications. Talk to your health care provider about getting tested if you are at risk for diabetes, and getting on a treatment plan, if necessary. For me, it was one of the most important conversations I’ve ever had with my doctor.

Managing diabetes so it works for you

Listen, people managing diabetes should want to control their blood sugar, and that means living a healthy, active life. I know I do! It’s important that you work with your docs and other health care providers to build a personalized diabetes care plan that includes healthy eating, physical activity, tracking your blood sugar, and taking your medicine as prescribed by your health care provider.

If you feel frustrated coping with diabetes, you're not alone. I went through this myself, and I reached out to friends and family to help. My advice is to get connected to your community. Recognize that these feelings are normal, and learn healthy ways to manage them.

The emotional side of diabetes

Learn about the emotional side of diabetes—and what you can do about it.

Work with your care team to create a diabetes care plan

Managing your diabetes is going to be a team effort. There are a bunch of different types of health care providers ready to help. They’re around to help you get the care you need to manage your diabetes. Together, they form your diabetes care team. Stay involved, especially with your primary health care provider, as you create a personalized diabetes care plan to help get you to your goal and keep you there. The same goes for the people in your circle—your family and friends, who are also part of your support team and can provide support in many different ways. They all play for team YOU!

Staying on track with your diabetes care plan. You got this!

There’s a lot to think about with diabetes. You may find that you need to make some changes to your daily life. You’re going to need a diabetes care plan that guides you through healthy eating, activity, and how to take the medicine you may need. But you’re not doing this thing alone.

Remember, diabetes may change over time, even if you are doing everything right. As time goes on, your diabetes care plan may need to change, too. But it doesn’t mean that your diabetes is getting worse. It might just mean your body is making less insulin or is less effective in responding to the insulin it makes (this is fairly common and is also known as insulin resistance).

Your health care provider may recommend that you start, change, add, or increase a medicine along with eating healthy and being active to help get your blood sugar in check. By adjusting to the changes that need to be made in your diabetes care plan over time, you may be better able to manage both your diabetes and your long-term health. It took me a while to adjust, and I had to make some real changes to my care plan here and there. But trust me, it’s worth it!

Take this first step to getting real about your diabetes

Anthony Anderson's diabetes story

Diabetes is diabetes, even if you’re a celebrity. Hear how I got real about healthy eating, being active, and taking my medicine as discussed with my doctor.

Start your own story

Are you ready to put what you’ve learned into practice? Register for Cornerstones4Care® to get more content and resources to help you get started.

Share icon

Share this page

Use the buttons on the right to share this page via email or on social media.

Use the buttons at the bottom of this page to share it via email or on social media.