Late last month, Boston’s Children’s Hospital brought attention to an article they published in the journal Diabetes. Researchers at that hospital identified a pathway by which T cells attack pancreas cells, giving hope to a future treatment for people suffering from Type 1 diabetes. You probably recall Type 1 diabetes, known also as ‘insulin dependent’ diabetes is most often associated with young people and Type 2 diabetes, also known as ‘adult onset’, is associated with older individuals. Let us take distinguish some features between the two diseases and what this research means for the future.
Type 1 Diabetes: While most often indentified in young people, this form can also affect adults. Your body has two major defense cells, B cells and T cells. B cells are attach intruders in general as a first defense and T cells are a more precise strike force that learns which specific intruder to attack. In this disease, the T cells attack wrongly attack specific cells in your pancreas, the ones that produce insulin. The body is then unable to produce insulin and is why patients must supplement their bodies with insulin, ie insulin dependent diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes: Also known as ‘adult onset diabetes’, they body continues to produce insulin in early stages but the cells meant to receive a signal do not get the message. The insulin has decreased effect and the body thus produces more. In late stages of the disease, individuals can become dependent on insulin as the pancreas cells become worn out.
In both cases, the imbalance of glucose and insulin can have profound effects on the blood vessels in your body. Changes are first noticed in the eyes, kidneys, and feet because the smallest vessels, those most prone to injury, are located here. Your Austin podiatrist, an expert foot specialist, is a key player in helping you maintain good health while living with this disease. The changes that can be first identified in your feet can help identify changes to crucial vessels that supply blood to your heart.
So, back to the study that first brought us to write about this. The researchers identified the pathway by which the immune cells attack the body. By discovering this key, therapies can now be developed to focus blocking or reversing this action. This is an important step, but it may still be a decade or more before drugs or therapies are available. Until a cure has been found, visiting your expert foot specialist is an important part of staying healthy while living with diabetes. Schedule your appointment at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists at our online sight today!
Until next time, keep those feet happy and health Austin!