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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the role of insulin in type 1 diabetes?

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  • Dr Stephen Leow

    HealthShare Member

    The prime defect in T1DM (Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus) is a lack of insulin. Isulin is a hormone produced by the Beta Cells of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Most T1DM is caused by autoimmune destrucion of the Beta Cells, that is the body forms antibodies that destroy the insulin producing cells.
    The main function of insuilin is to allow cells to take in glucose. This has 2 effects. First, it allows the cells to use the glucose as fuel andf secondly, it lowers the amount of glucose in the blood. Too much glucose in the blood clogs up the microscopic blood vessels that supply the nerves, kidney and eye and it causes these otrgans to degenerate. It also accelerates “hardening of the arteries” or atherosclerosis, which leads to heart attacks (myocardial infarction)
    The treatment of T1DM is to replace the insulin that should be produced by the pancreas.

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