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How are Islet cells affected by diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a far more complicated disease than the more common adult-onset type 2 diabetes. Type 2 occurs as a result of some hereditary susceptibility coupled with environmental triggers such as a lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet. Type 1, sometimes called juvenile-onset diabetes or autoimmune diabetes, usually occurs during childhood or adolescence. For unknown reasons, the body’s own immune system begins to attack and destroy pancreatic beta islet cells: those responsible for producing insulin.
Diabetes occurs once the vast majority of islet cells have been destroyed. An affected body will no longer be able to produce insulin, a hormone that is vital to the correct regulation of blood sugar. The sufferer is then forced to rely on daily insulin injections to keep their body feeling normal. Diabetics must also be extremely careful about what they choose to eat.
A study carried out by scientists at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, USA, has investigated the early stages of diabetes development. They discovered that the islet cells are destroyed by a little-known process termed necrosis, and identified several of the key factors in the process.
Understanding the roots and development of the disease are crucial steps in beginning to work towards a cure.

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