Managing blood sugar

What’s blood sugar? The job of glucose and insulin1

Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the main source of energy for our cells. It mainly comes from the foods we eat and may go up or down depending on when and how much we eat. Our pancreas helps manage these levels by making insulin, a hormone.2 The job of insulin is to take the glucose from our blood and help it move into our cells, creating energy for our bodies.

What happens if our insulin may be out of whack?

With diabetes, the body may either stop making insulin, slow way down or “forget” how to use insulin. When the insulin is either gone or not working properly (also known as “insulin resistance”), the glucose can’t get into the cells where it needs to go. This is what happens with type 2 diabetes.1

With type 1 diabetes, there’s no insulin to let glucose into the cells, so sugar piles up in the bloodstream.3 In response, the kidneys may go into overdrive, trying to get rid of that glucose. This may make a person urinate more often or feel really thirsty, tired or hungry, among other side effects. Many of these side effects may be symptoms of diabetes.4

Frequently asked questions about managing blood sugar