The future of people who have type 1 diabetes looks hopeful as a recently published study said that around one-third of people who suffer from the condition produce insulin, as measured by C-peptide, a byproduct of insulin creation. The research shows that it impacts people up to 40 years from their initial diagnosis, according to researchers from the consumer group T1D Exchange.
The research, which was touted as a groundbreaking large-scale study of the disease – which usually affects children, teens, and young adults – provides new insight into the accepted idea that people who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin. This could also have far-reaching implications for policies regarding the condition.
Samples for the study were taken from the T1D Exchange Biobank, an archive of biological samples of people with type 1 diabetes. Results then confirmed that C-peptide is still readily available in patients across a broad age spectrum, with higher values measured in adults than children. This provides physicians with evidence to suggest that residual insulin production can be expected for the group, and any misdiagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be mitigated. This also opens up more avenues to evaluate how to improve glucose management for people who have type 1 diabetes and highlights the need for more distinct processes between children and adults.
“These findings lend further credence to research underway on targeted therapies that could prolong insulin production, helping type 1 diabetes patients better manage their disease and reduce complications,” according to Dr. Asa Davis, the program exchange manager for T1D. “For example, potential immunotherapy treatments are already being studied with this goal in mind, and our findings underscore that those diagnosed at a young age may be more likely to benefit from such new approaches.”
For the study, researchers measured C-peptide levels in 919 individuals with type 1 diabetes. Ages of the sample pool ranged from three to 80 years upon diagnosis. Results indicated the following:
- C-peptide was present in 78 percent of patients diagnosed above the age of 18, and in 46 percent of patients diagnosed below 18.
- Residual C-peptide was found in 16 percent of adults who showed signs of diabetes when they were older and six percent for childhood-onset cases 40 years after they were diagnosed.
Fast facts on diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in juvenile patients (thus it was referred to as juvenile diabetes), it can still develop at any age. The American Diabetes Association estimates 1.25 million people in the U.S. have type 1 diabetes, with 30,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed this year. (Related: Reverse type 1 diabetes with a raw food diet.)
Symptoms related to type 1 diabetes may appear without warning. These include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Sudden bed-wetting in children
- Extreme hunger
- A sudden drop in weight
- Irritability and mood swings
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurry vision
If not properly managed, type 1 diabetes can hit other organs in your body. Like other forms of diabetes, people who have the condition are exposed to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, neuropathy (as the condition may damage blood vessels that feed your nerves), damage to the kidneys, eyes, and feet, as well as increased susceptibility to skin and mouth conditions. Sufferers of type 1 diabetes must manage their blood sugar level to reduce the risk of complications.
To learn more about managing type 1 diabetes naturally, go to DiabetesScienceNews.com today.