Link between diabetes and the endocrine system

The pancreas, which plays an essential role in the production of insulin, is a part of the endocrine system. A series of complications such as high blood sugar and diabetes can develop when this the pancreatic glands do not release the necessary amount of insulin.

What is the link between diabetes and the endocrine system? First, let us delve into the definition of the endocrine system, how it functions, and the bodily processes it encompasses. Then we will establish the link between diabetes and endocrine system.

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is a network of organs and glands located in different parts of the body. It controls and manages various bodily processes that involve hormones. Some examples of these bodily functions are as follows:

  • Appetite
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Body temperature
  • Metabolism
  • Blood pressure
  • Sleeping
  • Growth
  • Heart rate

How does it work?

It is uses hormones to execute the above bodily functions. These hormones are a product of various glands of the body and direct how organs and tissues should function.

The glands and hormones of the endocrine system share one common goal to maintain a balance in the body’s ecology. The system also collaborates with the nervous and immune systems to respond to external stimuli and keep the body well-stabilized.

The endocrine system and diabetes

How does the pancreas function?

Imagine eating something – a fruit or just a typical day’s meal. During the digestion process, the pancreas secretes insulin to help glucose enter the cells and convert it into energy. The energy is stored for daily or for future use. In other words, the insulin that the pancreas produces aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

However, if the pancreas does not release enough insulin, your body’s blood glucose levels increase abnormally. This will eventually result in insulin resistance, which is the primary cause of diabetes. That is why daily insulin shots or oral medications are necessary to balance and manage diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Both these conditions are linked to the malfunction of insulin production. This is what establishes a link between diabetes and the endocrine system.

In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its own endocrine system, which specifically targets the gland that produces insulin, the pancreas. This results in the pancreas becoming incapable of making insulin to balance the amount of glucose that the body takes.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes starts with insulin resistance. It is defined as the pancreas or the body’s incapability to use and produce the insulin that stabilizes the amount of sugar that enters the body.

The main form of treatment for people with type 1 diabetes is daily insulin shots. This will help them manage their condition and monitor their blood glucose. Moreover, it is easier for people with type 2 diabetes to manage their diabetes by having regular exercise and a healthy diet. Much more than that, they are advised to take oral diabetes medications to ensure their blood sugar levels are at the normal range.