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What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

What is type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or doesn’t respond to insulin properly. To understand diabetes, you need to know what insulin is and why your body needs it.

  • Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar into your body’s cells for energy.
  • Your cells need energy for almost every job your body does.

In type 2 diabetes:

  • Your body prevents the insulin it does make from working properly (known as insulin resistance).
  • Your body may make some insulin but not enough.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you are not alone. In the United States, 90% to 95% of adults with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 80% of people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Who is at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Anyone can get type 2 diabetes, but some people are at greater risk than others. Some common risk factors include:

Weight may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

Being overweight or obese

Genetics may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

Having a family member such as a parent, brother, or sister who has diabetes

Ethnicity may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group, which includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans

Age and sedentary lifestyle may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

Your age and a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to type 2 diabetes

How is type 2 diabetes managed?

Most people who have type 2 diabetes will need to combine staying active and eating healthy with diabetes medication to help keep their blood sugar levels in target range. Your health care provider will work with you to design the right treatment plan to help you reach and maintain your type 2 diabetes management goals.

What is GLP-1?

GLP-1 is an important hormone that helps your body keep blood sugar in balance.

GLP-1 stands for glucagon-like peptide-1. This hormone is produced in the gut and is released in response to the food you eat. GLP-1 treatment works like your body's naturally occurring GLP-1. GLP-1 treatments:

  • Increase the amount of insulin your pancreas releases when food is absorbed in the stomach and intestines. The increased insulin lowers blood sugar levels
  • Stop the liver from releasing sugar into the blood when it’s not needed
  • Slow the movement of food through the stomach, so that sugar enters the blood more slowly

Talk to your health care provider about why a once-weekly GLP-1 injection may be right for you. Download a discussion guide to help get the conversation started.

Call with questions

Questions about Ozempic® and type 2 diabetes?

You can speak with a Diabetes Health Coach by calling 1-866-696-4090. The Diabetes Health Coach will be happy to answer your questions.

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