With 40,000 people being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every year in the U.S. alone, separating the myths from the facts is the first step to taking control of the lifelong disorder. And with so many people living with this condition, it’s important we provide the best information, not only for them, but also their friends and family.
To help get you started, continue reading below to learn four important facts about type 1 diabetes…
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The Cause is Relatively Unknown
There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes and it’s not entirely understood why it occurs. However, according to Mayo Clinic and EndoctrineWeb, some known risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
- Family history: Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition. This risk is higher when the father has type 1 diabetes, and even higher when both parents have type 1 diabetes.
- Genetics: The presence of a certain genetic marker indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. That genetic marker is located on chromosome 6, and it’s an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) complex.
- Viral infections: Certain viruses may trigger the development of type 1 diabetes by causing the immune system to turn against the body—instead of helping it fight infection and sickness. Viruses that are believed to trigger type 1 include German measles, coxsackie, and mumps.
- Age: Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two noticeable peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4- and 7-years-old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14-years-old.