Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

What Is It?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease. It is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is also called type 2 diabetes mellitus and adult-onset diabetes. However, more and more children and teens are developing this condition. Since type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, it often is just called "diabetes".

During digestion, food is broken down into basic components. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, primarily glucose. Glucose is a critically important source of energy for the body's cells. To provide energy to the cells, glucose needs to leave the blood and get inside the cells.

Insulin traveling in the blood signals the cells to take up glucose. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. When levels of glucose in the blood rise (for example, after a meal), the pancreas produces more insulin.

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