What are the Risk Factors of Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disorder in which our immune system destroys the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells (known as an autoimmune response).

risk factors of type 1 diabetes

Note: Symptoms of diabetes appear when 85 – 90% of beta cells are destroyed

  • The specific combination of genes contributes to type 1 diabetes.
  • Presence of these genes makes people susceptible to type 1 diabetes.
  • The risk of type 1 diabetes is higher for relatives of patients with type 1 diabetes, but > 85% of patients with type 1 diabetes do not have a family member with the disease.

The lifetime risk of developing type 1 diabetes:

  • Sibling – 6%
  • Mother – 2%
  • Father – 4.6%
  • Both parents have diabetes – 10%

Environmental factors trigger the autoimmune response in a genetically predisposed individual.

The likely environmental factors are:

  • Gestational infections in mother during pregnancy.
  • Viral infections like mumps, rubella, enteroviruses, rotavirus.
  • Early introduction of bovine milk, cereals, high protein food.
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Intake of high-calorie food and weight gain
  • Psychologic stress like child-parent separation
  • Toxic substances like alloxan, streptozocin causing direct beta-cell damage.
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