How doctors can forecast who will develop Type 1 Diabetes

Healthwatch

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There is a new way to predict whether babies will develop type-one diabetes later on.

Each year, about 40 thousand children and adults in the U.S. will be told they have type-one diabetes.

It’s a disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack special cells in the pancreas that normally make insulin.

Satish Garg, MD, Endocrinologist, University of Colorado School of Medicine said, so you have no insulin in the body. Insulin is an important hormone that’s needed to live.

Identifying whether a child will develop type-one diabetes is important because it could help doctors spot the condition before it becomes severe. The problem is it’s tricky to diagnose.

Doctor Garg said, even with type 1 diabetes, it takes a long time before the disease manifests.

Currently, doctors use a method that measures Islet Autoantibodies in the blood. But it’s expensive and hard to perform on kids.

Now researchers at the University of Exeter have found a new test that is nearly twice as effective at identifying babies who will develop type-one diabetes.

To create it, scientists analyzed genetic variations and interactions across the entire genome of 6,581 people with type-one diabetes. This helped them pinpoint genetic elements that predict diabetes.

Some symptoms of type-one diabetes: Thirst, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss, irritability, fatigue, weakness, bed-wetting in kids, and blurred vision.

Researchers say the new risk score could also help them distinguish between type-one and type-two diabetes, so patients get the right diagnosis and the best treatment possible. 

Half of all type-one diabetes cases develop in adulthood and can often be misdiagnosed. 

Doctors hope that they might one day be able to find a way to prevent type-one diabetes altogether in people who are at high risk of developing it.

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