One of the ways that we look at the onset of type 2 diabetes is in the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas. We know that in type 1 diabetes a major autoimmune event occurs, destroying the beta cells. When a patient who has type 2 diabetes has to start on insulin, we tend to assume that they too have destroyed their beta cells.
Based on this theory, it would make sense that the beta cell mass in an insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes patient would be reduced. But is that true?
This week in our clinical text, we begin a discussion of Beta-Cell Mass and Function in Human Type 2 Diabetes as we look for the the answer to the above question.