Basics of Diabetes

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NOTE BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Normally, I recommend that you try to complete a study guide on your own before looking at the answer key. But this study guide is a little different. This time, I want you to try answering a question on your own, then looking it up in your textbook if necessary. After you have made your best attempt to answer one question, check the answer key before moving on to the next question. 


It is important to complete this study guide in that way because each question builds on the information you learned in the previous questions. That makes it necessary to make sure you have a correct understanding of each answer before you can try to answer the next question. 


1) Define and describe the normal roles of glucose, insulin, glucagon, and glycogen in a healthy person. Make sure to mention the affect that each one has on blood glucose levels. 

  • Glucose:



  • Insulin:



  • Glucagon:



  • Glycogen:



2) Okay, now tell me a little more about insulin in a healthy person! How often is it released? What exactly does it do in the body? Hint: It’s not enough to say “it helps the body use glucose.” HOW does it do that? What is it doing on a cellular level? If you were following a molecule of insulin through someone’s body, what would you see it doing? You may need to revisit your A&P for this one! But will be worth the effort because this is such an important concept, that there’s no point in studying Diabetes unless you understand it. 













3) So just about everyone knows that having Diabetes Mellitus means that there is a problem with insulin. But there are actually two possible insulin problems you can have. Using the information you learned in question number 2 (and probably referring to your Med-Surg textbook), what are the two ways that the body can have a problem with insulin?








4) What is the difference between Type I and Type II Diabetes? Which of the 2 problems with insulin do you think each Type has?

Type I:



Type II:


Extra Info: Although many cells in the body require insulin in order to get their glucose, there are a few cell types that do not. These cells are able to take glucose into themselves without the help of insulin. What are the two primary cell types that require insulin, and the three primary cell types that do not? 

  • Need insulin:
  • Do NOT Need insulin:

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