Understanding diabetes: the pancreas, insulinBy
You may have been told that you or someone you care for has diabetes. Now what?
First, diabetes is not one disease, but a group of conditions involving your pancreas and the hormone that it produces called insulin. The pancreas is a gland that is located deep in the abdomen between the stomach and the backbone and is surrounded by the liver, intestines and other organs. The pancreas makes hormones, including insulin, and pancreatic juices. The hormones enter the bloodstream, travel throughout the body and help the body use or store the energy that comes from food.
When your pancreas does not produce enough insulin and/or your body is unable to use all the insulin that is being made, too much glucose stays in your blood.
High blood glucose is also called high blood sugar. Over time, this high blood sugar can lead to organ damage and many other serious complications. Using a combination of lifestyle changes (diet, exercise) and treatment prescribed by your doctor (pills, insulin, etc.), gives you the control you need to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.