Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963954 | Print ISBN: 9781412959087 | Online ISBN: 9781412963954| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
G. Ishaq Khan
DIABETES IS A disease in which there are high levels of glucose found in the blood of the patient. It is also known as non—insulin-dependent diabetes or adult onset diabetes. In this disease, the body is unable to produce an adequate amount of insulin, which is what helps sugars to change into energy and plays a major role in the metabolism of the body. In this article, we discuss the physiology behind insulin production and its role in the body; diabetes onset, signs and symptoms, and treatment; and the role of stem cells in diabetes. The islets of Langerhans form the endocrine tissue of the pancreas. The islets are microscopic structures scattered throughout the pancreas. They comprise alpha cells, beta cells, delta cells, and pancreatic polypeptide cells. Insulin is only produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans. Insulin performs a number of roles in the body's metabolism, ...