dandelion Taraxacum officinale flowers and other members of the
If you're anything like me - expensively but inadequately educated - you have an excuse for never having heard of glucagon but you're reading the wrong blog if 'insulin' is a totally new word to you. In teaching Human Physiology for the last three years, I've learned a lot that I didn't know or about which I was wrong. The theme in Hum.Phys is homeostasis, maintaining everything - core temperature, acidity, blood-pressure - in equilibrium. Insulin and glucagon do this for blood-sugar levels: insulin reducing it and glucagon increasing it. As I tried to explain about haemophilia and Factors VIII and IX, the normal body manages such things with exquisite subtlety 24/7 while pharmaceutical/medical surrogates are bludgeon-crude by comparison. It's like that with insulin therapy for diabetics: they inject far too much in one go and over the next several hours the concentration in the blood trails down to rather too low when the body receives another deluge by needle.
Mais revenons nous a nos îlots: there are two types of diabetes: type I occurring when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin; type-II when the pancreas is chuntering along nicely doing its job but the body fails to react appropriately to circulating insulin. It seems likely that type-I diabetes is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system convinces itself that beta-cells in the Islets of Langerhans are 'foreign' and need to be taken out. As the beta-cells produce the insulin on which glucose metabolism depends, this is response turns out to be a costly mistake. A lot of auto-immune disease occurs as a consequence of a viral or bacterial infection. When the pathogenic insults has been beaten up and swept away, the immune cells are still spoiling for a fight and turn on some part of the body with a superficial resemblance to the ex