Causes of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (the beta cells). As a result, the body is left without enough insulin to function normally (i.e. it becomes insulin deficient). This is called an autoimmune reaction, because the body attacks itself and produces antibodies to its own insulin-producing cells, thereby destroying them.

Researchers don’t exactly know why this process is activated in some people. Apart from a possible genetic predisposition, the following triggers may be involved:

  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Chemical toxins in food

When a person with type 1 diabetes develops symptoms, most of the beta cells in the pancreas have already been destroyed.


One Comment on “Causes of type 1 diabetes”

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