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When a person gets diabetes, what organ is malfunctioning? What is it failing in the human body that produces any kind of diabetes?
Question Date: 2012-06-01
Answer 1:

When a person gets diabetes, it is the pancreas or other tissues that are failing. The pancreas is responsible for regulating how much glucose (sugar) is in your blood. After every meal you eat, your blood sugar levels rise (in general, if there is more sugar in the food, like in sodas, then there will be more sugar in your blood). Because it's not good to have too much sugar in your blood, your body regulates how much sugar is in your blood by releasing a molecule called insulin. In order to remove sugar from the bloodstream, the insulin molecule causes tissues in the body (such as liver, muscle, and fat) to take up this sugar. These tissues store the sugar for when you need to use up energy. When the blood sugar levels start falling, the pancreas stops releasing insulin. A person with diabetes may not have enough insulin made by the pancreas, or the tissues that need to respond to insulin (such as liver, muscle, and fat) may not respond properly.

I recently wrote a science fair project idea related to diabetes and glucose levels in the body that you may be interested in -- if nothing else, I think the Introduction explains diabetes pretty well. There is also a good video made by the Khan Academy. Here is a link to the project idea:

diabete s

Answer 2:

Fantastic questions! A person can get diabetes at any age, young or old, and the reason why people get diabetes is still not completely understood. When a person gets diabetes, the organ that is having trouble is the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing a hormone called insulin. Our body uses insulin to turn the sugar we eat into energy. Without insulin sugar builds up in our blood and our body does not know what to do and gets very sick. Since diabetics have little or no insulin produced by their own body they need to control the amount of sugar they eat and/or take extra insulin. This does not mean that diabetics can't eat candy, it just means they have to know exactly how much sugar they are putting into their body so that they can take enough insulin to turn that sugar into energy since their body will not do that on its own.

Here is a great link to some more detailed information on diabetes:

diabetes research

Answer 3:

Usually it's the pancreas. The pancreas secretes insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. If the pancreas is malfunctioning, the amount of insulin is wrong, the level of sugar is wrong, and bad things happen - this is diabetes.

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