TYPE I DIABETES: WHAT GOES WRONG

Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:28
Posted in category Diabetes

Normally, the pancreas sends out just enough of the right hormone to keep the blood glucose level within the narrow range of “just enough.” But in diabetes something has gone wrong. The blood sugar rises far above the normal limit—perhaps up to 200, 300, or even 1000 mg% or more. This condition (too much sugar in the blood) is called hyperglycemia.
Damage to the beta cells is usually the cause of Type I diabetes. Ironically, scientists believe that islet cells are destroyed by the person’s own body in an autoimmune response. Normally the body’s immune system works to defend it against foreign invaders, such as disease germs. Its weapons include proteins called antibodies, which attack foreign substances. But in Type I diabetes the body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar level in check.
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