Introduction to Insulin

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The islets of Langerhans are composed of three major types of cells: Alpha cells secrete glucagon, elevating blood sugar. Beta cells secrete insulin, maintaining normal blood sugar. Delta cells secrete somatostatin, which suppresses release of glucagon and insulin. Hyposecretion or inadequate use of insulin may result in diabetes mellitus (DM). Hypersecretion of insulin may result in hyperinsulinism. Older adults who develop Type 2 diabetes mellitus produce sufficient insulin, but because cell receptors are modified and/or reduced, glucose does not enter the cells.

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