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What exactly is type 2 diabetes, you ask?

Diabetes happens when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, doesn’t make any insulin at all, or 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

Know the facts

Think you know all there is to know about diabetes? Let’s find out. Select an answer on each card to get the facts.

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I’m not overweight, so I don’t have to worry about developing diabetes.

Unfortunately, that’s not true, my friend. Head to the Am I at Risk? page to learn more and make sure to schedule that appointment with your doctor.

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I don’t need to watch what I eat.

Sorry—you most definitely have to watch what you eat. I used to be a candy lover, but not anymore. Learn about changes you can make to your diet and talk to your doctor about what you should and should not eat.

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Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, so I guess I can’t avoid it.

False—there are so many ways you can decrease your risk of developing diabetes, including eating and drinking habits, lifestyle habits, and more. I made some of these changes myself. Learn which changes I made. (And schedule that appointment with your doctor—they have answers too.)

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Come on, type 2 diabetes isn’t that serious.

False. You bet it’s serious. It is one of the fastest growing diseases in America, and over 34 million American adults are living with it. Learn why we should all take diabetes more seriously. If you have concerns that you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t put it off like I did.

Am I at risk for diabetes?

Anthony Anderson's diabetes story

Diabetes is diabetes, even if you’re a celebrity. Hear how I got real about eating healthy, 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.

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