Home Life Style Autoimmunity in Type 1 Diabetes May Be Due to Gut Microbiota

Autoimmunity in Type 1 Diabetes May Be Due to Gut Microbiota

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Type 1 diabetes is a medical condition which the sufferer may have no control of. It can affect a person without him or her choosing it. It cannot be prevented and can only be managed with medications, a healthy diet and regular exercise. Diabetes affects about 10 percent of the world's population.

 Type 1 Diabetes

 Diabetes is a medical condition wherein the body cannot produce enough insulin to lower blood glucose levels in the body. In normal people, insulin levels match the blood glucose levels of the body. Elevated blood glucose levels in the body can cause damaging effects to the bodily organs. It is said that Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition because it is caused by an attack of the body against its own cells. The body's immune system fight off the cells of the pancreas and destroy them so that these cells become damaged. In turn, these cells, called beta cells of the pancreas, cannot produce insulin very well, resulting to little or no insulin levels.

 Type 1 diabetes usually occurs initially during childhood during the age range of 7 to 12 years old. However it may also affect people of all ages, from babies to elderly people. Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include thirst, increased urinary frequency, weight loss, unexplained fatigue, and mood changes. Other less commonly known signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, unexplained hunger, skin infections, poor memory and concentration, poor daytime performance, thrush and others.

The diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes relies on blood tests such as fasting blood sugar levels, random glucose levels and oral glucose tolerance tests. The treatment for Type 1 diabetes involves insulin injections, proper diet and regular physical activity.

 Type 1 diabetes can be inherited. People who have blood relatives with Type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk of acquiring this condition. However, it may also occur even if a person has not family history. There is no exact cure for type 1 diabetes, however more research is currently ongoing for new effective treatments. Patients with Type 1 diabetes may need frequent insulin injections to stabilize their blood sugar levels.

Diabetes and Gut Microbiota

 A recent study has shown that children with Type 1 diabetes have different interactions in their gut microbiota. Researchers think that these differences may already be present before antibodies and detected in the blood. In these patients, microbial DNA, the so-called microbiome, may be involved in the development of autoimmune processes. These findings were published in the specialist journal Diabetes.

 In this study, researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum München scientists compared the composition and interaction of the gut microbiota in children who went on to develop diabetes-specific autoantibodies in their blood with data from children who were auto antibody negative. This was a part of the BABYDIET study which deduces that the number and types of bacteria in the gut were similar between normal children and children with Type 1 diabetes. However, the researchers found out that the bacterial interaction networks were different in between the two groups even during the first years of life. Children who have type 1 diabetes have the typical diabetes auto  antibodies.

 The microbiome is formed from colonies of bacteria and it contains genetic information that can influence the host. The microbiome is associated with a lot of diseases, one of which is diabetes. The study shows that the body's immune system function can be affected by both the microbiome and the way it interacts with functional communities. Gut bacteria are influenced by many things such as hygiene, diet and birth delivery. Thus we can say that having type 1 diabetes is not an accidental happening but is a result of various factors that threaten the body's immune system.

 You can read more about diabetes in the articles found in this site.