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Is Type 2 Diabetes An Autoimmune Disease?

Is Type 2 Diabetes An Autoimmune Disease?

Type 2 diabetes is in the process of being redefined as an autoimmune disease rather than just a metabolic disorder, said an author of a new study published in Nature Medicine this week, the findings of which may lead to new diabetes treatments that target the immune system instead of trying to control blood sugar. As part of the study the researchers showed that an antibody called anti-CD20, which targets and eliminates mature B cells in the immune system, stopped diabetes type 2 developing in lab mice prone to develop the disease, and restored their blood sugar level to normal. Anti-CD20, available in the US under the trade names Rituxan and MabThera, is already approved as a treatment for some autoimmune diseases and blood cancers in humans, but more research is needed to see if it will work against diabetes in humans. The researchers believe that insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes (unlike type 1 diabetes where it is the insulin-producing cells that are destroyed), is the result of B cells and other immune cells attacking the body's own tissues. Co-first author Daniel Winer, now an endocrine pathologist at the University Health Network of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, started working on the study as a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, USA. He told the press that: "We are in the process of redefining one of the most common diseases in America as an autoimmune disease, rather than a purely metabolic disease." "This work will change the way people think about obesity, and will likely impact medicine for years to come as physicians begin to switch their focus to immune-modulating treatments for type-2 diabetes," he added. The discovery brings type 2 diabetes, until now considered to be more of a Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes: Is It An Autoimmune Disease?

Type 2 Diabetes: Is It An Autoimmune Disease?

For decades, doctors and researchers have believed type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder. This type of disorder occurs when your body’s natural chemical processes don’t work properly. New research suggests type 2 diabetes may actually be an autoimmune disease. If that’s the case, new treatments and preventive measures may be developed to treat this condition. Currently, there isn’t enough evidence to fully support this idea. For now, doctors will continue to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes with diet, lifestyle changes, medications, and injected insulin. Read on to learn more about the research that’s being done and the implications it may have on the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has historically been viewed as a different type of disease from type 1 diabetes, despite their similar name. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or can’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from your blood to your cells. Your cells convert glucose to energy. Without insulin, your cells can’t use glucose, and symptoms of diabetes can occur. These symptoms may include fatigue, increased hunger, increased thirst, and blurred vision. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it’s often diagnosed in children and teens, is an autoimmune disease. In people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy tissues of the body and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. The damage from these attacks prevents the pancreas from supplying insulin to the body. Without an adequate supply of insulin, cells can’t get the energy they need. Blood sugar levels rise, leading to symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst, and irritability. E Continue reading >>

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