By: Mona Morstein, ND
There is a great deal of research occurring now in regards to discovering what is/are the greatest etiological factors in developing Type 1 Diabetes. Aside from the obvious, a person needs to have the genes to develop that auto-immune condition, there are many factors being analyzed.
The TEDDY Trial is a very innovative clinical study occurring now which is attempting to measure the importance of many different possible etiological factors. Those factors include health of pregnant mother (of T1DM child), how food is introduced into the child, nutrient levels of T1DM, past history of viral infections, molecular mimicry, vaccinations/ and timing of them, pollutants in water, exposure to pets/allergens, excessive weight gain, and psychological stress.
The other main source of T1DM research is trying to find which virus is the most associated with initiating the auto-immunity. Although a coxsackie B virus has been implicated in the gut, a very recent European team found that one virus, tampereen yliopistro virology, was actually shown to penetrate the pancreas and destroy the beta cells. If this continues to play out a vaccination against tampereen may be possible in the future, preventing people in one way from developing T1DM.