Common Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

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Diabetes is becoming increasingly common in our society, and scientists have been working to understand exactly what causes it. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 is present from a young age, while type 2 is developed over time. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, while those with type 2 don’t respond to insulin effectively. Researchers still aren’t sure what causes type 1, but type 1 diabetes studies have indicated some likely factors. Here are some of the most common known causes of type 1 diabetes. 

Genetic factors

Many clinical studies have indicated that type 1 diabetes is caused by certain genetic factors. Specifically, people who have a certain antigen complex in their body, or HLA, could possibly develop diabetes. However, not everyone with these antigens develops diabetes. Diabetes is something that needs to be triggered before it can develop. 

Viral infection

While the genetic markers must be present before type 1 diabetes can develop, a viral infection is usually what triggers it. When the antigens in the virus are similar to the antigen complex that produces insulin, it can result in an inability to produce insulin, because the immune system will destroy them in an attempt to flush out the virus. Not every virus can cause diabetes – measles, mumps, and rotavirus are among the most common. 

Cow’s milk

It’s important to state that there’s still no proof that drinking cow’s milk as a baby can lead to the development of type 1 diabetes. However, there are some theories to explain this possibility. Some scientists believe that one of the proteins in cow’s milk could trigger the production of more T cells in the body, which will then attack the cells that produce insulin. However, there is still not enough research to support this theory. 

As diabetes becomes more prevalent, we can expect to see more research on what exactly causes type 1 diabetes to occur. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which is related to diet, type 1 has always been more of a mystery. This increased research will likely lead to better treatment for those who suffer from diabetes later on as scientists develop a more thorough understanding of the problem.

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