According to statistics from the American Diabetes Association, there are over 23.6 million people in the US who have Diabetes, which comprise of 8% of its total population. From 2005-2007, the total prevalence of diabetes has significantly increased to roughly 13.5 %. These alarming facts just show that Diabetes has indeed become one of the most common types of autoimmune disorders afflicting not only Americans but also people from other parts of the globe.
Malfunctioning immune system support
You may have heard about the disease called Diabetes, but you are not entirely sure how it actually develops. The truth is, your immune system or immune auto plays a fundamental role for the development of the disease. Before we get into details, you must first understand the main function.
The human immune system is technically the body's first line of defense against foreign bodies such as viruses, bacteria, infections and diseases. It is made up of a network of cells and organs that are working hand in hand to prevent these invaders (commonly called as antigens) from entering the bloodstream and other parts of the body. Generally, the immune system is composed of various essential components including the white blood cells, hormones, bone marrow, thymus, spleen, lymph system, antibodies and complement system (which include the protective proteins in the body).
Unfortunately, there are some instances that the body identifies its own tissues as foreign, in which case a condition called autoimmune disease arise. Diabetes is one of the diseases that progresses when the immune system malfunctions.
Understanding the link between diabetes and the immune system facts
When the body's defense becomes the problem, it is commonly caused of two things - either its not functioning adequately or working too aggressively - and this condition is known as immune-mediated. Once the immune system start attacking itself it inflicts damage without intervening, just like with autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, it mistakenly perceive its own cells as foreign bodies thus it tries to destroy it resulting to the destruction of important body tissues and extreme immune system stress.
Diabetes is clearly connected with a malfunctioning immune system. A healthy person would normally have beta cells that produce insulin. It is a hormone that assists in the regulation of glucose levels in the body. With type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the beta cells causing its destruction. Initially, the body would annihilate the cells in the pancreas, a few cells will be destroyed but there is still enough remaining to maintain the production of insulin. However, as the destruction process continues more beta cells are harmed and become totally destroyed until the body is unable to produce insulin on its own. This is where the symptoms of diabetes start to manifest.
Sadly, once you are diagnosed with diabetes you will be dealing with it for the rest of your life. There is no way to reverse the damaged caused by a malfunctioning immune system. The destruction made to the beta cells is irreversible. When this happens, the body won't be able to produce insulin. Although this is not always the case with all diabetic patients since several studies have showed that some may still have remaining beta cells to produce insulin. But for those who don't, continuous treatment and insulin shots are required in order to live and continue life. However it's not too late. Learn how to build your immune system up by eating whole foods even if you have diabetes rebuilding damaged beta cells.