A Third of Individuals With Type 1 Diabetes Can Still Make Insulin

A new study has demonstrated that roughly one third of people with Type 1 diabetes are capable of producing insulin. This new finding is in sharp contract to prior thoughts about Type 1 diabetes patients. It was previously believed that Type 1 diabetics could not produce insulin at all.


Type 1 diabetes is typically found in children. While scientists are still not sure exactly what causes the disease, it is believed that there could be some genetic components involved in addition to the risk factors that promote the onset of the disease. The study demonstrated that residual insulin production can continue for at least forty years. The new findings were published to the scientific journal, Diabetes Care. The new findings, according to the researchers, could help to prevent the misdiagnosis of type 1 diabetes as type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes tends to be the majority of diabetic patients which is why there is a risk of misdiagnosis.


Other studies have also indicated that people with type 1 diabetes can still make insulin, says Dr. Carla Greenbaum, the director of T1D Exchange Biobank Operations Center.


Millions of people have Type 1 diabetes in the United States. The researchers made the findings by looking at Type 1 diabetics blood samples. It was determined that in some of these patients C-peptide was found to be present. C-peptide is a byproduct of the insulin production process.


C-peptide was also found in higher concentrations in the individuals that had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as adults. These findings could assist in getting the requirements for insulin pumps changed as federal insurers and private insurers currently require the lack of insulin production in order to allow the use of such devices.


Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients need assistance in managing their health needs. By proving that insulin production is still possible, researchers may be able to design devices that can help type 1 diabetes patients to increase their own natural levels of insulin production. Devices may also be designed to promote insulin production rather than rely solely on blood sugar management medications.


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