Once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, type 1 diabetes can happen at any age to anyone. Though there's no way to prevent the disease, here are some typical causes of type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes triggers. According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact reason people develop type 1 diabetes is not known, although several factors are thought to contribute to getting the disorder:
- Autoimmune issues — In many people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system that normally helps the body fight harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses goes awry. The immune cells actually attack the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and cause them to stop functioning altogether. This is unlike type 2 diabetes, where the islet cells are still producing insulin but the body is resistant to it, or does not produce a sufficient quantity of insulin.
- Genetics — There may be a genetic link to type 1 diabetes.
- Viral — Exposure to certain viruses might activate the disease.
- Causes of type 1 diabetes — Once the islet cells are destroyed and very little to no insulin is produced, the physiological result is type 1 diabetes. Muscles and tissues don’t have the energy they need to work properly. Insulin also lowers the amount of sugar circulating in the bloodstream. When blood sugar drops, insulin production slows.
- Liver involvement — The liver stores and manufactures the blood sugar (or glucose) that the cells need for energy. When the insulin levels are low, the liver reverts to converting glycogen to glucose to stabilize blood sugar levels. This process cannot occur when there isn’t any insulin. Instead, sugar builds up in the blood with serious complications that develop gradually over time. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to eye damage, kidney damage, foot damage, skin conditions, osteoporosis, hearing problems, nerve damage, and heart and blood vessel disease.