Beta Cells And Diabetes
If we could only get the beta cells in the pancreas to rejuvenate themselves, we could then cure diabetes. The problem also involves shutting off immune responses, and eliminating behavioral and environmental factors that precipitate diabetes. When there is an immune response that attacks beta cells, we have Type 1 diabetes. Over a fairly short period of time, it results in complete destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. If we don’t remove the cells from their high sugar environment, and continue to damage them by subjecting them to high sugar, we run the risk of tipping to Pre-Diabetes, or Type 2 Diabetes. We need to continually nurture and care for our beta cells, by making sure their environment is not high in sugar, and that they do not have to work too hard. If the beta cells have to work too hard due to high sugar, they will eventually give out. Our beta cells can only take so much. What are beta cells? Beta cells are cells that are located in the pancreas, within the Islets of Langerhans. The Islets of Langerhans are in an area of the pancreas that serves to regulate endocrine function, by secreting hormones. The pancreas is involved in secreting insulin, glucagon, and some other hormones. Beta cells functioning The beta cells are little insulin producing machines. They manufacture, store, and release insulin via the pancreas. Without their full function, we can develop conditions such as Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. In pancreas where there is no Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes process going on, the beta cells respond extremely quickly to blood sugar changes. The beta cells will release some insulin that they have stored, and begin to make more insulin in response to rising blood sugar. In a person with no diabetes, it takes about ten Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
Occurs when the body's immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. Type 1 diabetes develops most often in young people but can appear in adults. PubMed Health Glossary (Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) About Type 1 Diabetes Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects many different parts of the body. Depending on the type of diabetes, the body either cannot produce insulin itself (Type 1) or is unable to use the insulin it produces properly (Type 2). Insulin is a hormone, a chemical messenger that is transported in the blood and regulates important body functions. Without insulin your body cannot get the energy it needs from the food you have eaten. This vital hormone is usually produced in the pancreas and released into the bloodstream. Here it enables the sugar (glucose) in our food and drink to be transported into our cells and converted into energy for our bodies. Without insulin our bodies cannot use the sugar in our blood, so the sugar builds up there. Very high blood sugar concentrations cause a number of symptoms. In people who have type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce any insulin, or only produces very little insulin. This means they have to inject insulin every day to get the insulin they are lacking. Insulin therapy prevents dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar levels and protects people with diabetes from the effects of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. And good treatment can help to prevent the development of complications that can arise if your blood sugar levels are too high... Read more about Type 1 Diabetes There are increasing numbers of people living with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The main aim of treatme Continue reading >>
Do People With Type 1 Diabetes Make Any Insulin?
The essential definition of type 1 diabetes is that people make little or no insulin, but the answer isn't as simple as that. Type 1 diabetes most often results from an autoimmune process that leads to the loss of beta cells, the cells in the pancreas that manufacture and release insulin. Someone with fully developed type 1 diabetes will often make little or no insulin. However, the autoimmune process does not lead to a loss of insulin in one step or overnight, and some people lose their insulin production very gradually. These are usually people who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes relatively late--in their 30s, 40s or later. When they are first diagnosed, they often still make a fair amount of insulin. They are often thought to have type 2 diabetes, and because they still make a good deal of insulin they usually respond to oral medications, reinforcing the idea that they have type 2 diabetes. However, as they continue to lose beta cells, their insulin production declines, and eventually they need insulin treatment to maintain blood sugar control. It may take several years from the time of their initial diagnosis to progress to this point. The other thing to note is that even people with fully-established type 1 diabetes differ in terms of how much insulin they make. Some people still make enough insulin to help smooth out the fluctuations in blood sugar that you typically have with insulin injections or an insulin pump. These are people who are easily controlled and have good hemoglobin A1c levels and very few episodes of hypoglycemia without very much effort. These people often have low but detectable levels of C-peptide, a marker of insulin production by the body. Other people make virtually no insulin. They typically have a much harder time achieving good blood s Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, you may develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can cause long-term complications if the blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time. Insulin Treatment for Diabetes People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well or are resistant to insulin. They may need insulin shots to help them better process Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes: Almost Half Of Patients Produce Insulin
Type 1 diabetes is often described as a condition in which the body fails to produce the hormone insulin. New research, however, provides further evidence that not all insulin production is lost with the condition, and this may be down to an anti-inflammatory protein. Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden found that nearly half of patients who had been living with diabetes for more than 10 years produced some insulin. What is more, these insulin-producing patients also had higher blood levels of immune cells that produce a protein called interleukin-35 (IL-35), which is believed to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. Study co-author Dr. Daniel Espes, of the Department of Medical Cell Biology at Uppsala University, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the journal Diabetes Care. Type 1 diabetes is estimated to affect around 1.25 million children and adults in the United States. The condition arises when the immune system mistakingly attacks the insulin-producing cells, or beta cells, of the pancreas. It was once thought that patients with type 1 diabetes experienced a complete loss of insulin production, but increasingly, studies have indicated that some patients still possess functioning beta cells. For this latest study, Dr. Espes and colleagues set out to determine whether there are any immunological mechanisms that might explain why some patients with type 1 diabetes still produce some insulin. Many patients produced insulin The research included 113 patients with type 1 diabetes who were aged 18 and older. All patients had been living with the condition for at least 10 years. Using the ultra-sensitive ELISA test, the researchers measured the levels of C-peptide in the patients' blood, which is an indicator of insulin production. Continue reading >>
Pancreas And Diabetes
The pancreas is the organ that is responsible for producing insulin The pancreas is an organ located behind the lower part of the stomach, in front of the spine and plays an important part in diabetes. The pancreas is the organ which produces insulin, one the main hormones that helps to regulate blood glucose levels . The pancreas plays a part in two different organ systems, the endocrine system and the exocrine system. The endocrine system includes all the organs which produce hormones, chemicals which are delivered via the blood to help regulate our mood, growth, metabolism and reproduction. Two of the hormones produced by the pancreas are insulin and glucagon . The exocrine system is made up of a number of glands which release substances such as sweat (to the skin), saliva (in the mouth) or, in the case of the pancreas, digestive enzymes . The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin. The cells which produce insulin are beta cells. These cells are distributed in a cluster of cells in the pancreas called the Islets of Langerhans, named after the anatomist who discovered them . Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels by assisting the transport of glucose from the blood into neighbouring cells. In type 1 diabetes , the beta cells that produce insulin are attacked by the bodys immune system. As more beta cells get killed off, the pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down and the symptoms of diabetes begin to appear. Research has shown that whilst many beta cells are killed off, the body can continue to produce very small amounts of insulin even after decades have passed. News from 2012: Insulin production may last for over 30 years in type 1 diabetes In type 2 diabetes, the body builds up resistance to insul Continue reading >>
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, is a chronic disease that destroys the body’s ability to make insulin, a hormone used to break down and store energy (in the form of glucose or “sugar”) from foods. Without insulin, high levels of fat and glucose remain in the bloodstream, which can damage blood vessels and vital organs over time. Scientists do not know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes, but they believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors are to blame. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system, which normally ignores healthy cells but destroys germs and foreign substances that could cause illness, mistakenly launches an attack on the body itself – in this case destroying insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas. People may develop type 1 diabetes at any age, but it is frequently diagnosed before adulthood. It accounts for about 5%-10% of all diabetes cases, and affects approximately one in every 400 to 500 children in the U.S. Most Commonly Used Terms Autoimmune disease: disorder of the body’s immune system in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys body tissue considered foreign. Islet cells: cells that make insulin and are found within the pancreas; also called pancreatic beta cells. Islet transplantation: moving the islets from a donor pancreas into a person whose pancreas has stopped producing insulin. Beta cells in the islets make the insulin that the body needs for using blood glucose. Pancreas: an organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion. The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach and is about the size of a hand. Insulin: A hormone made by the islet cells of the pancreas. Insulin controls the amount of sugar i Continue reading >>
Facts About Diabetes And Insulin
Diabetes is a very common disease, which, if not treated, can be very dangerous. There are two types of diabetes. They were once called juvenile-onset diabetes and adult diabetes. However, today we know that all ages can get both types so they are simply called type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1, which occurs in approximately 10 percent of all cases, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system, by mistake, attacks its own insulin-producing cells so that insufficient amounts of insulin are produced - or no insulin at all. Type 1 affects predominantly young people and usually makes its debut before the age of 30, and most frequently between the ages of 10 and 14. Type 2, which makes up the remaining 90 percent of diabetes cases, commonly affects patients during the second half of their lives. The cells of the body no longer react to insulin as they should. This is called insulin resistance. In the early 1920s, Frederick Banting, John Macleod, George Best and Bertram Collip isolated the hormone insulin and purified it so that it could be administered to humans. This was a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes type 1. Insulin Insulin is a hormone. Hormones are chemical substances that regulate the cells of the body and are produced by special glands. The hormone insulin is a main regulator of the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. To be more specific, it's produced by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. When we eat, glucose levels rise, and insulin is released into the bloodstream. The insulin acts like a key, opening up cells so they can take in the sugar and use it as an energy source. Sugar is one of the top energy sources for the body. The body gets it in many forms, but mainly as carbohydr Continue reading >>
The Connection Between Diabetes And Your Pancreas
A direct connection exists between the pancreas and diabetes. The pancreas is an organ deep in your abdomen behind your stomach. It’s an important part of your digestive system. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that help you digest food. One of those hormones, insulin, is necessary to regulate glucose. Glucose refers to sugars in your body. Every cell in your body needs glucose for energy. Think of insulin as a lock to the cell. Insulin must open the cell to allow it to use glucose for energy. If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t make good use of it, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leaving your cells starved for energy. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, this is known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms of hyperglycemia include thirst, nausea, and shortness of breath. Low glucose, known as hypoglycemia, also causes many symptoms, including shakiness, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can quickly become life-threatening. Each type of diabetes involves the pancreas not functioning properly. The way in which the pancreas doesn’t function properly differs depending on the type. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it requires ongoing monitoring of blood glucose levels so you can take the appropriate action. Type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes the immune system erroneously attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas. It causes permanent damage, leaving your pancreas unable to produce insulin. Exactly what triggers the immune system to do that isn’t clear. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role. You’re more likely to develop type 1 diabetes if you have a family history of the disease. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. People who ha Continue reading >>
Diabetes Mellitus: An Overview
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that prevents your body from properly using the energy from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs in one of the following situations: The pancreas (an organ behind your stomach) produces little insulin or no insulin at all. (Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone, produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, which helps the body use sugar for energy.) -Or- The pancreas makes insulin, but the insulin made does not work as it should. This condition is called insulin resistance. To better understand diabetes, it helps to know more about how the body uses food for energy (a process called metabolism). Your body is made up of millions of cells. To make energy, the cells need food in a very simple form. When you eat or drink, much of your food is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose provides the energy your body needs for daily activities. The blood vessels and blood are the highways that transport sugar from where it is either taken in (the stomach) or manufactured (in the liver) to the cells where it is used (muscles) or where it is stored (fat). Sugar cannot go into the cells by itself. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood, which serves as the helper, or the "key," that lets sugar into the cells for use as energy. When sugar leaves the bloodstream and enters the cells, the blood sugar level is lowered. Without insulin, or the "key," sugar cannot get into the body's cells for use as energy. This causes sugar to rise. Too much sugar in the blood is called "hyperglycemia" (high blood sugar) or diabetes. What are the types of diabetes? There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2: Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (beta cells) are damaged. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas Continue reading >>
Type 1 Vs. Type 2 Diabetes
In the normal digestive process, your body breaks down much of the food you eat into glucose, a simple sugar that's stored in your body and used for energy. The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, regulates the amount of glucose in your blood by helping liver, muscle, and fat cells absorb the sugar. Diabetes is a disease that develops when your pancreas doesn't make enough insulin, or your body doesn't use insulin properly — resulting in high blood glucose levels, which can cause a range of health issues. There are several types of diabetes: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common. Type 1 diabetes develops when the body produces little to no insulin. It’s considered an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system erroneously attacks and destroys the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. Type 1 — previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes, or juvenile-onset diabetes (because it often develops at a young age) — accounts for about 5 percent of all diabetes diagnoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Type 2 diabetes develops when liver, muscle, and fat cells don't respond properly to insulin and become "insulin resistant." Glucose doesn't enter the cells as efficiently as before, and instead builds up in the bloodstream. In type 2, the pancreas responds to these increased blood glucose levels by producing more insulin. Eventually, however, it can no longer make enough insulin to handle spikes in glucose levels — such as what happens after meals. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, according to the CDC. Type 1 Diabetes Prevalence In 2012, an estimated 29.1 million people in the United States — 9.3 percent of the population — had diabetes, according to Continue reading >>
People With Type 1 Diabetes May Still Have Insulin-producing Cells
THURSDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Most people with type 1 diabetes still have active insulin-producing cells in their pancreas, a new study shows. The finding suggests it may be possible one day to preserve or replenish these cells. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells, and it was believed that all these cells were lost within a few years of developing the disease. But British researchers used new technology that enabled them to detect far lower levels of insulin than was previously possible. They tested 74 people with type 1 diabetes, and found that 73 percent of them had working beta cells that produced low levels of insulin, regardless of how long they'd had the disease. The study was published in the journal Diabetologia. "It's extremely interesting that low levels of insulin are produced in most people with type 1 diabetes, even if they've had it for 50 years," study leader Dr. Richard Oram, of the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom, said in a university news release. "The fact that insulin levels go up after a meal indicates these remaining beta cells can respond to a meal in the normal way -- it seems they are either immune to attack or they are regenerating." Dr. Matthew Hobbs, head of research for Diabetes UK, added: "We know that preserving or restoring even relatively small levels of insulin secretion in type 1 diabetes can prevent hypoglycemia [low glucose levels] and reduce complications, and therefore much research has focused on ways to make new cells that can be transplanted into the body." "This research shows that some of a person's own beta cells remain, and therefore it may be possible to regenerate these cells in the future," Hobbs said. "It is also possible that unders Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetes And What Are The Different Types?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that helps the body convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for everyday life. While the exact cause of diabetes is still unknown, many factors that been linked to the development of the disease. There are four major types of diabetes including Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Pre-diabetes, and Gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes results from the body's inability to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, which is a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin. Gestational diabetes is the condition where pregnant women who have never had diabetes have high glucose levels during pregnancy. Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when the blood glucose levels in a person's body are higher than normal, but not quite so high for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection—the immune system—turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to live. At present, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body’s immune system to attack the beta cells, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors, possibly viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. It develops most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period, Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. It is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents, or young adults. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells, called beta cells. The pancreas is below and behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells. Inside the cells, glucose is stored and later used for energy. With type 1 diabetes, beta cells produce little or no insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. This buildup of glucose in the blood is called hyperglycemia. The body is unable to use the glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most likely, it is an autoimmune disorder. This is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With type 1 diabetes, an infection or another trigger causes the body to mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The tendency to develop autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, can be passed down through families. Continue reading >>
Tweet Beta cells are unique cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release the hormone insulin. Located in the area of the pancreas know as the islets of Langerhans (the organ’s endocrine structures), they are one of at least five different types of islet cells that produce and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. What is the role of beta cells? The main function of a beta cell is to produce and secrete insulin - the hormone responsible for regulating levels of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels start to rise (e.g. during digestion), beta cells quickly respond by secreting some of their stored insulin while at the same time increasing production of the hormone. This quick response to a spike in blood glucose usually takes about ten minutes. In people with diabetes, however, these cells are either attacked and destroyed by the immune system (type 1 diabetes), or are unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin needed for blood sugar control (type 2 diabetes). Amylin and C-peptide In addition to insulin, beta cells also secrete the hormone Amylin and called C-peptide, a byproduct of insulin production. Amylin slows the rate of glucose entering the bloodstream, making it a more short-term regulator of blood glucose levels. C-peptide is a molecule that helps to prevent neuropathy and other vascular complications by assisting in the repair of the muscular layers of the arteries. It is secreted into the bloodstream in equal quantities (or moles) to insulin. Beta cells in type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes, beta cells die from a misguided attack by the body’s immune system. How and why that happens is not clear, but the results of a study published in early 2011 suggest that these pancreatic cells become stressed at the earliest stages of Continue reading >>