Type 1-diabetes deprives cells of the sugar that is need for energy in the cells. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin or not enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in controlling how the body converts sugar into energy in our cells. Type 1-diabetes is not as common as type 2-diabetes. According to the University of Maryland type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 - 10% of all diabetes cases. Most cases of type 1-diabetes typically develop in childhood or adolescence and can happen in both boys and girls. However type 1-diabetes can occur at any age but is more prevalent in the younger population. (Diabetes - type 1, 2013) Type 1-diabetes is more common in whites than in other ethnic groups. According to the World Health Organization, type 1 diabetes is rare in most African, Native American, and Asian populations. The same cannot be said for type 2-diabetes that affects these ethnic groups. (World Health Organization Reasearch , 2013)
Type 1 diabetes is considered to be an autoimmune disorder that involves the pancreas and its insulin production. The cells that are involved in insulin production are called beta cells and they produce insulin in the pancreas. The Islets of Langerhans contain beta cells and are located within the pancreas. (Harvey Simon, 2012)Beta cells are particularly important because they make insulin which is needed to metabolize glucose within the body. In type 1 diabetes beta cells that are used to produce insulin are slowly destroyed by the body's own immune system, and this is called an autoimmune response.
Autoimmune response is when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With type 1-diabetes the body mistakenly attacks the beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin. (Type 1 Diabetes, 2013)It is unknown what causes this symptom, but data suggests that both a genetic predisposition and environmental issues may factor in, such as a viral infection that is involved. (Diabetes - type 1, 2013) Deterioration of the beta cells is the main cause of type 1-diabetes.
The majority of people who develop type 1 diabetes do not have any family history of the disease. In spite of this children are more likely to inherit the disease from a father with type 1 diabetes than from a mother with the disorder. (Diabetes - type 1, 2013) Some research suggests that viral infections may trigger the disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Among the viruses being studied are enteric viruses, which attack the intestinal tract. Coxsackie viruses are a family of enteric viruses of particular interest. Epidemics of Coxsackie virus, as well as mumps and congenital rubella, have been associated with type 1 diabetes. (Diabetes - type 1, 2013) Another thought...