Diabetes is a disease that is associated with high blood sugar levels due to a problem with the function of insulin. There are two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, each caused by a different problem with insulin. In Type 1 Diabetes, not enough insulin is produced by the pancreas, even if insulin receptors on cells work normally. In Type 2 Diabetes, insulin is produced at normal levels by the pancreas, but the insulin receptors stop functioning or become resistant to insulin signalling. In both cases, the body is unable to move glucose from the blood into cells, resulting in abnormally high levels of blood sugar.

Key Points

  • Diabetes
    • Normal Insulin function
      • Pancreas produces Insulin
        • Insulin binds to insulin receptors on cells
          • Glucose to move from blood into cells
    • Type I Diabetes
      • Pancreas doesn’t produce insulin
        • Destruction of beta cells of pancreas
      • Functional insulin receptors
      • Treatment
        • Insulin injections
    • Type II Diabetes
      • Insulin receptors are desensitised to insulin
      • Insulin still produced
      • Treatment
        • Drugs to re-sensitize insulin receptors