Type 2 Diabetes: How Your Pancreas and Liver Work Together

By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Salesian Cooperator

Diabetes type 2 is a very common problem which deserves in depth understanding from scratch. Since this is a huge topic, for the coming months, our Care Ministry will begin a series of what I call ”Diabetes 101”. We will seek out pertinent educational information from programs with the best practice.

Here is “A little summary of how our pancreas and liver work from the Mayo Clinic.” Functions of the pancreas in relation to Type 2 Diabetes:


The role of glucose

Glucose-a sugar- is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues.

  • Glucose comes from two major sources: food and your liver.
  • Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin.
  • Your liver stores and makes glucose.
  • When your insulin levels are low, such as when you haven’t eaten in a while, the liver breaks down stored glycogen* into glucose to keep your glucose level within a normal range.
  • Glycogen is the analogue of starch: when the body doesn’t need to use the glucose for energy, it stores it in the liver and muscles.

How insulin works

Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas, a gland situated behind and below the stomach.

  • The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream.
  • The insulin circulates, enabling sugar to enter your cells.
  • Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.

As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas

How your body works

Normally, your body changes most foods into glucose (sugar). Insulin helps glucose move from your blood into your cells where it can be used for energy. When you have diabetes, your body does not use food properly for energy, so glucose builds up in the blood.

 The Care Ministry wants to emphasize that this article is not meant to be your medical advice. Any of your health related questions should be directed to your own physician. Diabetes is here to stay. Let us start the conversation.

We love to hear from you: kunlouis@gmail.com