Viruses that Cause Type 1 Diabetes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 05, 2012

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or diabetes mellitus, is caused when the beta cells present within the pancreas are destroyed through an attack by the immune system of the body. These cells are responsible for the production of insulin. Considering the fact that diabetes is often associated with several health complications, relentless research is being carried out to unearth the causes of disease and devise suitable remedies for the same. According to recent research efforts, there have been some references of viruses that cause type 1 diabetes. Most often, diabetes is considered to be a genetic disorder or one that is dependent on certain environmental factors. The Chance of type 1 diabetes being a viral illness is also being considered a strong possibility.


Some Viruses that Cause Type 1 Diabetes

  • Some research activities have gone in to prove that there are certain strains of viruses that can trigger an immune system response, which is quite similar to a find and destroy mission. This eventually shuts down the production of insulin in the pancreas. Although, many similar viruses are under the scanner, the one which has garnered most interest is the coxsackievirus. This virus is most commonly found in kids. Although, most children will successfully recover from the effects of this virus without many complications, it would lead to more serious repercussions in adults. Studies explaining if the coxsackievirus acts as a triggering point for altering autoimmune responses for destroying beta cells are still being conducted.
  • According to a recent study conducted by Australian scientists, another virus, which has been strongly linked with the incidence of type 1 diabetes is the enterovirus. According to the study, type 1 diabetes was 10 times more likely to occur in children who have already been affected with enterovirus. Enterovirus is like the common flu like virus, which causes symptoms of cold and cough in children. Children exhibiting such symptoms are more prone to develop pre diabetes symptoms leading to diabetes eventually. The likelihood of contracting type 1 diabetes in children with such symptoms is thrice compared with normal children. Other common symptoms prevalent in children affected by enterovirus would be vomiting, diarrhoea etc.

Viruses that cause type 1 diabetes are still being researched upon. Several more related findings are expected to emerge in the years to come.  Research findings such as these will help us to understand the nature and prevalence of these viruses and devise ways of controlling them effectively.


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