Environmental Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 07, 2011

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Doctor give injectionType 1 Diabetes more common in children is also known as juvenile diabetes. It can still develop roughly till the age of 40. In this autoimmune disease the beta cells in pancreas are destroyed. Beta cells are responsible for secreting insulin that regulates sugar in the body. Although, Type 1 Diabetes is largely a genetic disease, environmental causes are responsible for triggering and accelerating it. Alien influence leads to the creation of autoantibodies that create an autoimmune condition. In simpler words, the body starts killing it’s own vital parts, namely the beta cells.




Viruses such as Coxsackie B, Rubella, Measles, Mumps and Epstein-Barr do not annihilate all the beta cells but may cause severe damage. Moreover, even after complete detoxification they may leave the antibodies in an autoimmune chain reaction. Some viruses remain dormant and become active later to cause further injury. Streptomyces griseous found in soil is the latest to join the ranks of Type 1 Diabetes causing virus. Recent research shows that it created reduced glucose tolerance in mice. Streptomyces may find its way in our diet through vegetables and roots like potatoes.




Chemicals work the same way to trigger autoimmune responses in the pancreas. Pesticides such as Alloxan and Vacor may be traced in food. On the other hand a direct consumption of drugs such as Streptozotocin and Pentamidine seem fittingly responsible. Nitrosamines is another chemical that makes those genetically predisposed to Type 1 Diabetes vulnerable. It is used in the preservation of meat and pregnant women are advised to avoid its consumption which will make a direct impact on the diabetic genetic make-up of the infant.




If your diet lacks fatty acids that are crucial to development and maintenance of the body you are likely to become exposed to other triggers of Type 1 Diabetes. Also, if the polyunsaturated fatty acids that you consume are high in n-6/n-3 ratio it is likely that an autoimmune process may begin. The same will happen with fluctuating levels of protein consumption. Some doctors even recommend breast feeding for infants instead of substitutes such as cow’s milk. The latter can become a probable cause in the development of juvenile diabetes.


The focalisation of Type 1 Diabetes depends on a tandem process. Genes alone cannot be blamed and neither can the flourishing viruses and chemicals. What is difficult is to determine is the exact route of the exposure and resulting manipulation of Beta cells. This makes prevention a fool’s errand. However, caution is advised if a family history of Type 1 Diabetes is apparent. It will then not be impossible to identify and avoid the sources of potential provocateurs.


Read more articles on  Understand Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus


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