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In type 1 diabetes the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed, causing a severe lack of insulin. This is thought to be the result of the body attacking and destroying its own cells in the pancreas - known as an autoimmune reaction.
It's not clear why this happens, but a number of explanations and possible triggers have been proposed. These include:
However, these are only hypotheses and are not proven causes.
In this type of diabetes the receptors on cells in the body that normally respond to the action of insulin fail to be stimulated by it - this is known as insulin resistance.
In response to this, more insulin may be produced, and this overproduction exhausts the insulin-manufacturing cells in the pancreas. There is simply insufficient insulin available and the insulin that is available may be abnormal and so doesn't work properly.
The following risk factors increase the chances of someone developing type 2 diabetes:
Rarer causes of diabetes include:
Last updated by Administrator Apr 16, 2009.