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Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes

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Diabetes health tip

Diabetes: Sorting fact from fiction
Diabetes is a serious illness. To help contain this leading cause of disability and death, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.

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How insulin works

How insulin works image

Insulin acts like a key, opening body cells so that glucose can enter the cell to provide a source of energy.

Insulin is like the key to a car.

  • A car needs fuel to run, but the key provides the spark that releases the fuel.
  • In your body, insulin is used to "spark" the use of glucose as fuel in your cells.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, fifth edition, ISBN 1-931876-32-0

First published: 12/01/2006
Last updated: 10/25/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts