What are normal blood sugar levels and how do fluctuations affect the beta cells? Normal blood sugar levels are those measurements that fall below 100 mg/dl. People need to consult with their doctors as to the level that they have to maintain as suggested normal ranges may slightly vary. Beta cells are those cells that are found in areas of the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans. The beta cells are responsible in making and releasing the hormone insulin to control blood glucose levels. Constant elevated glucose levels in blood may cause the death of the beta cells which may lead to diabetes and other diseases.
The majority of type2 diabetes cases start with a sufficient number of beta cells present but the cells tend to die as the disease progresses. There are possible causes in the decline of beta cells and may include any of the following: glycation or protein poisoning because of high sugar levels in blood; the over production of another hormone called amylin due to insulin resistance; when beta cells produce big amount of insulin causing them to ‘burn out’; the interplay of genetics, weight and inactivity; the release of leptins by the fat tissue and lipoproteins by blood fats; deposits of ‘islet amyloid polypeptides’; some medications and autoimmune disorders.
The decline or the death of the beta cells may be caused by a combination of the above mentioned conditions and may vary because of individual differences. There may be several medications that patients can take to stimulate the production of insulin but care must be taken as the same medication might cause the death of the beta cells. The best way is for patients to maintain regular blood sugar levels at all times because beta cells do not have the ability to regenerate and once they die, there will be no replacement. Knowing the answers to what are normal blood sugar levels is not enough but knowing how to maintain it will help them a lot before the number of their beta cells starts to drop to a critical level.