Definition: Beta cells are groups of cells located in the pancreas and designed to produce insulin. Beta cells are located throughout the pancreas in what is called the islets of Langerhans. In those with type 1 diabetes, the beta cells have largely been destroyed by an autoimmmune response resulting in a significant decrease of insulin. Symptoms begin to appear when roughly 90% of the beta cells have been destroyed. The insulin needed to sustain life must be obtained from manufactured sources and injected manually or obtained from an insulin pump. Some people experience a "honeymoon period" after their diagnosis, which is characterized by a temporary surge of insulin production that can last several weeks or longer before levels of insulin return to their deficient state.
Also Known As: Islet cells