Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
October 24, 2002
Question from Smithsburg, Maryland, USA:
When the beta cells are attacked, are the alpha cells (the ones that produce the glucagon) in the pancreas also affected?
The autoimmune response that causes type 1 diabetes is selective for the beta cells that make insulin. Glucagon-producing Alpha cells are still present, but the nervous system that activates them can become involved and lead to decreased glucagon output in the setting of hypoglycemia. There are also some data to support a lack of suppression of glucagon output with insulin producing cells being destroyed. This allows glucagon to be high and antagonize insulin’s role of lowering blood sugars.