2 Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes typically affects those under age 20 and only impacts about 5% of the population.
- Type 2 diabetes typically affects adults and is especially linked to being overweight or obese, and a poor diet that includes overconsumption of calories.
While anyone at any age can develop either type of diabetes, these factors tend to overwhelmingly define the two groups.
Type 1 Diabetes Is Often Misunderstood
There is a great deal of information out there about Type 2 diabetes. However, Type 1 diabetes is often misunderstood. In cases of Type 1 diabetes, there are several reasons why your pancreas can become damaged and begin failing to produce insulin. Often called juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes often affects children, even from birth. Sometimes there are genetic factors that cause this condition, but oftentimes Type 1 diabetes is the result of something in the environment, such as a virus, directing your immune system to attack your pancreas.
The Link Between Coxsackievirus B1 and Diabetes
An RNA virus called coxsackievirus B1 is often associated with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), as well as diseases of the muscles, lungs and heart. Enterovirus 71 is also associated with HFMD and paralysis. These two viruses, among other factors, direct your immune system to attack your pancreas, which is the organ that produces insulin.
While researchers have long believed that there was a connection, this recent research has finally narrowed down the link between coxsackievirus B1 and diabetes. This has led to the development of a vaccine that prevents the virus from affecting your pancreas. Clinical trials are currently underway on the vaccine, and it may be available as early as 2018!
This vaccine is an encouraging advancement for those who develop Type 1 diabetes resulting from coxsackievirus B1. Since there are still other causes of Type 1 diabetes, the development of other forms of treatment are still needed.