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Last Updated: Thursday March 10 2005 11:10 GMT

What is diabetes?

Blood sugar level

People's bodies need energy to function, and they get some of that energy from food.

The body uses a special hormone called insulin to convert food we eat into a kind of sugar called glucose, which gives us energy.

Diabetes is a condition where you have too much glucose in your blood because your body cannot use it properly.

This is because your pancreas, part of your digestive system, does not produce enough or any insulin - or the insulin doesn't work properly - to help glucose enter your body's cells.