A healthy state of affairs in the isles of Langerhans is necessary to avoid the emergence of type 1 diabetes. This is not a vacation spot or a political consideration. And we're not talking about weather conditions.
Approximately 1 million islets of Langerhans, also known as islands of Langerhans, are found inside your pancreas. These islets are patches of endocrine tissue, made up of four types of cells.
Three cell types make our hormones. They are alpha, beta and delta cells. We don't know of a function for the other cell type, called C cells.
Beta cells are the most common type of islet cell. These cells are where insulin is produced.
Insulin is very important. It helps us make use of the foods we eat. It helps muscle cells make use of amino acids. It controls metabolizing of fats. It helps regulate blood glucose levels. Its absence is an invitation to type 1 diabetes.
Somatrotropin (growth hormone) and glucagon will cause insulin to be released from beta cells. But glucose is the prime player in triggering the release of insulin, and when glucose levels in the blood rise after you eat, insulin comes on the scene to counter the blood glucose level.
Alpha cells in the islets of Langerhans manufacture the hormone glucagon. Glucagon releases glucose from the liver. It also releases fatty acids from fat tissue.
Glucose and free fatty acids will then release more insulin and restrict the release of glucagon.
Delta cells manufacture somatostatin. Somatostatin inhibits glucagon, insulin and somatotropin.
Insulin affects cells in the fat, liver and muscles when blood glucose is at a high level. Fat cells form fat. Cells in the liver and muscles create glycogen to store energy. Liver cells use amino acids to make proteins.
Insulin teams up with glucagon to regulate every aspect of blood glucose in the body. In a healthy body, with functioning beta cells in the islets of Langerhans, it does, at any rate.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, however, when the pancreas can no longer produce a proper supply of insulin, this tag team of insulin and glucagon is in disarray.