Clear, accurate answers to your diabetes questions

1: What is type 1 diabetes (T1DM)?

2: Why is insulin important in the body?

3: What does glucose do in the body?

4: When was insulin invented?

5: Why is low blood sugar a problem?

6: Why is high blood sugar a problem?

7: What causes low blood sugar?

8: What causes high blood sugar

9: Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes?

10: Explain diabetes to a young kid

Fast facts about type 1 diabetes

Why is insulin important for our bodies?

Short answer: Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter your body's cells. Your cells use glucose for energy. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body no longer makes insulin, or makes only a tiny amount. That's why you must take insulin.

Want to know more?

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ behind the stomach. It is carried around the body in the bloodstream.

Its function is to act as a key, unlocking a door in each cell, which opens and allows glucose in. Insulin also helps the body store extra fuel as fat.

Not every cell in the body needs insulin to get its glucose. These include the brain, nerve fibers, red blood cells, the retinas, the kidneys, and blood vessels.

The insulin-producing and storing cells are found in groups called islets of Langerhans (named after the German Paul Langerhans, who discovered them at the age of 22) throughout the pancreas.

People with type one diabetes no longer produce insulin, which leads to a dangerous build up of glucose in the blood, plus a build-up of ketones as the body turns to fat to provide energy.

By David Hay Jones

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