Type 1 diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disorder that results from the halt of production of the hormone insulin. Insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas and is the key that allows glucose from the blood into the cell. Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are required to control their blood glucose level using daily injections of insulin. Scientists have yet to pin down a single cause to diabetes due to its complex nature however, it can be traced through genes or even due to the triggering of enteroviruses.
Autoimmune disorders occur because the body fails to recognize its own antigens on the outside of its cells and sees them as foreign. The expression of the antigens is coded by a set of genes on chromosome 6 called
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Enteroviruses are viruses containing single stranded RNA and are quite common in children and cause many different diseases in mammals such as polio, meningitis, and myocarditis. Two different European studies found that an enterovirus, more specifically group B of the coxsackievirus, can spread to the pancreas and damage the insulin-producing [beta] cells,” (Akatemia, "New Evidence for Role of Specific Virus Causing Type 1 Diabetes"). As a type 1 diabetic myself, my endocrinologist and I believe that my diabetes was triggered by a virus due to the fact that there has been no record of type 1 diabetes in my family history however, diabetes is a complicated disease making it hard to fully pin down its cause.
Dealing with type 1 diabetes and its many facets can add onto daily stress and cause psychological problems. It is a lot of responsibility keeping the blood glucose levels in the safe zone, especially when the thoughts of complications due to out of control glucoses later in life such as nerve damage, kidney disease, and blindness. Research done by Nicolas Bolo, a psychiatry lecturer at Harvard Medical School, focused on memory loss and depression and their connection with type 1 diabetes. High blood glucose levels, which occasionally happen to