hormones and type 1 diabetes

Another repost from my old website. Hope you find it interesting!

Insulin

In the interest of getting a better understanding of the endocrinology behind diabetes, I decided this afternoon to have a poke around the web at information on hormonal glucose regulation.

Type 1 diabetes is fundamentally a disorder of glucose regulation related to the body’s inability to produce insulin. The cells of the body that produce insulin are located in the pancreas in the regions known as the “islets of Langerhans” [2]. In type-1 diabetes, these insulin-producing cells (beta-cells) are destroyed due to an autoimmune response resulting in a dramatic reduction or elimination of the body’s production of insulin.

Since there are a number of glucoregulatory hormones which increase blood glucose levels (including one produced in alpha-cells of the pancreas called glucagon), the absence of insulin leads to a state of hyperglycaemia if untreated. Chronically high levels of glucose in the bloodstream can lead to a number of complications. A lack of insulin in the bloodstream can also lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis means the pH level of the blood falls below its normal range due to the acidic effect of ketone bodies in the bloodstream. The reason for the presence of ketone bodies in the bloodstream is related to the body’s mechanisms for handling starvation. Continue reading “hormones and type 1 diabetes”