Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: (402) 763-9140

Do Germs Cause Type 1 Diabetes?

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Diabetes is a metabolism disorder that occurs when the body cannot properly use the hormone insulin to process glucose in the blood stream. Excess blood glucose can cause damaged optic nerves, septic limbs that require amputation, and heart problems, so it is very important for health care providers and Omaha, NE, caregivers to work together to halt the disease before it progresses. Though type 2 diabetes is well researched and almost entirely preventable, little is understood about how to prevent type 1 diabetes. New research from a team at the Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research has provided valuable insight into the mechanisms that cause type 1 diabetes to develop. The researchers have uncovered a surprising cause of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that prevents the pancreas from producing adequate amounts of insulin. The reason that the pancreas cannot make insulin is because the immune system, which is supposed to attack harmful germs, mistakenly attacks the beta cells needed to create insulin. The lead author of the study explained that killer T-cells, which are a specific category of white blood cells, are one of the most effective germ killing cells in the body. Therefore, the results of killer T-cells getting confused and attacking healthy cells are particularly damaging.

What the researchers found was that killer T-cells are unusually cross-reactive. They normally use sensitive receptors to scan cells and identify harmful germs. However, certain types of bacteria have the ability to avoid T-cells by tricking them into attacking normal cells. This means that if a human body is infected with particular germs, killer T-cells can be triggered to attack the healthy pancreas beta cells. Since this research is the first to show that an external factor can launch the beginning of type 1 diabetes, it has the potential to help medical researchers find more effective medications that prevent the disease altogether.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be challenging for seniors to manage alone. With help from Home Care Assistance of Omaha, NE, seniors can maintain healthy diets and regular exercise routines while receiving daily reminders to take their medicine in the convenience and comfort of home. Call (402) 763-9140 today to speak with an experienced Care Manager, schedule a free consultation, and learn more about our comprehensive care plans.