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Diabetes 16+

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. The full name for this disorder is diabetes mellitus. The disorder is more commonly known as diabetes and this will be used throughout the resource.

Regulating blood glucose

Two hormones are involved in the regulation of glucose in the blood: insulin and glucagon. Both are produced by specialised cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Diabetes is triggered when a person stops producing insulin or their body does not respond to it normally.

This resource follows on from the 14-16 resource on diabetes.

These computer graphics show the structure of insulin. It is a complex protein hormone. Image courtesy of: T. Blundell & N. Campillo / Wellcome Images