(ORDO NEWS) — Australian doctors present new evidence in favor of the viral nature of type 1 diabetes mellitus a disease that leads to the destruction of pancreatic cells and the complete inability of the body to produce its own insulin.
Diabetes is not one, but a whole group of diseases. The most common of these is type 2 diabetes, which is associated with impaired insulin production.
It develops due to metabolic disorders that can be caused by malnutrition and obesity, so it usually appears in middle-aged and older people.
The next most common type, type 1 diabetes, is often found in young people. It occurs due to the destruction of the pancreas, due to which the body is not able to produce its own insulin.
It is believed that type 1 diabetes is of an autoimmune nature: the death of pancreatic endocrine cells occurs under the blows of the patient’s own immune system.
However, there is an alternative hypothesis that links the disease with the action of viruses. Even more than 50 years ago, experts noticed that type 1 diabetes often develops after infection with Coxsackie type B enterovirus.
Similar studies were then carried out more than once, although none of them gave unambiguous and reliable results.
This problem is also addressed by a new work carried out by the team of Professor Maria Craig of the Australian University of New South Wales and presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
In 2011, Craig and her co-authors already published a paper in support of the viral hypothesis about the origin of type 1 diabetes, and now they have collected additional evidence in favor of this version.
The authors analyzed the results of approximately 60 previous studies involving more than 12,000 diabetic patients.
It turned out that the chances of detecting traces of an enterovirus in such people are about eight times higher than usual, and within the first month after diagnosis – 16 times.
If the patient had close relatives with type 1 diabetes or other genetic predisposition factors for this disease, then the indicator increased to 29.
Unfortunately, the group of enteroviruses is quite wide and varied, it includes more than 80 viruses that infect humans.
These include rhinoviruses, which cause the common cold, and poliovirus, which is associated with the development of poliomyelitis.
However, past research generally does not link type 1 diabetes to any specific type. However, much points to Coxsackie viruses that can cause cardiomyopathy, meningitis and other diseases.
The authors of the work emphasize that the involvement of viruses in the development of diabetes does not exclude the influence of other factors.
Most likely, a range of conditions are required that lead to severe pancreatic damage, including nutrition, microflora disturbances, and exposure to some pollution during pregnancy and early childhood.
As noted recently, even the habit of sleeping in the light can contribute to the onset of diabetes.
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