What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?



Type 1 Diabetes Cause

Type I diabetes results from the destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. Why does this occur? Research during the past decade has brought us closer to an answer. As yet, scientists don’t know for sure, but they believe that most cases of Type I diabetes are caused when something has gone wrong in the body’s immune system. The main job of your immune system is to fight diseases by producing antibodies, substances that eliminate foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. In certain cases, however, this immune system goes haywire destroys the body’s own cells. Researchers believe that this is what happens in most cases of Type I diabetes. By mistake, the body destroys the beta cells of the pancreas, the very cells it needs to produce insulin.


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Again, scientists do not know exactly why this occurs. But heredity probably plays a role. In other words, there is a tendency for the problem to occur more frequently in certain families. Studies show that if one parent has Type I diabetes, a child has a 5 to 10 % chance of developing the same condition. The risk rises to 20 % when both parents have Type I diabetes.

New tests now are able to recognize faulty immune antibodies in the blood-years before a person shows any of the common symptoms or signs of diabetes. In adults, the destructive antibodies might be in the blood five or more years before symptoms appear ( see Type 1 diabetes Symptoms). This suggests that the destruction of beta cells doesn’t occur abruptly. Instead, it is a gradual process, taking place during what is called “prediabetic stage.”

Nationwide research studies are now being undertaken to look for ways to halt the destruction of the beta cell during this stage. For this reason, people with an immediate relative with Type I diabetes are being encouraged to be tested for the presence of faulty antibodies that may lead to diabetes. If they are detected, perhaps these people can be given a treatment that would prevent further destruction of the beta cells. Insulin, itself, is one possible treatment being studied to prevent diabetes.

*** Posted By Natasha A.Nada ***