👩‍⚕️ The hormonal control of blood glucose and the management of diabetes

The liver and the pancreas have a central role in the regulation of blood glucose concentration. The cells in the pancreas secrete the hormones which tell cells to take up glucose from the blood or not take it up. On demand, glucose is made from broken down glycogen in the liver.



The pancreas has alpha and beta cells. Alpha cells secrete glucagon which increases blood glucose concentration, while beta cells secrete insulin which decreases blood glucose concentration. People with type 1 diabetes have destroyed beta cells, so their lack of insulin makes them have to take it via injections.



The islets of Langerhans contain the hormone-secreting endocrine cells including the alpha and beta cells. Most of them are the insulin-producing beta cells, with a smaller proportion of…