SUSAN, HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES: He told me I have type 2 diabetes and I would need medication and I cried. Oh, I cried like you wouldn't ever believe.
ANNOUNCER: Three years ago, Susan became one of 20 million Americans diagnosed with a type of diabetes.
ASTRID ALMODOVAR, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: Diabetes is a group of illnesses where there is a defect either in the production or the effectiveness of insulin. Therefore we have a hard time managing sugars and carbohydrates.
ANNOUNCER: Insulin helps the body process food. When there's a problem with insulin, glucose from food builds up in the blood, rather than being used by cells for energy. Susan was diagnosed with type two diabetes â€“ by far the most common form.
ASTRID ALMODOVAR, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: In terms of type 2 diabetes, the underlying defect is insulin resistance. What happens is even though there is enough insulin in the blood stream; the cells become resistant to its action.
ANNOUNCER: While a poor diet can increase the risk of type two diabetes, it's a myth that it's caused by eating too much sugar.
ASTRID ALMODOVAR, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: It is usually caused by hereditary factors, obesity, over weight and sedentary lifestyles. Because we're having so much of that, then we're having more diabetes.
ANNOUNCER: Uncontrolled diabetes can affect every system in the body. But with the right treatment, people like Susan can live long and healthy lives.
SUSAN, HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES: I have diabetes. And it doesn't have me, I have it. And it doesn't control me; I do control it and I always will control it.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.