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A Level: The beta cells of the islets of langerhans of the pancreas do not produce enough insulin. GCSE: The liver cells produce the insulin but the bodies cells do not respond to the insulin.
A Level: The beta cells of the inslets of langerhans in the pancreas still produce the insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the insulin producing organs. Body’s immune system is an amazing defense mechanism that protects our body from the attack of bacteria, viruses, toxins etc. This leads to increased accumulation of sugar in blood since pancreas fails to produce sufficient amount of insulin which transports glucose into the cells. But it should be remembered that genetics alone cannot cause type 1 diabetes in children, since there many instances wherein a child with a family history of this ailment does not develop it. The main environmental trigger that causes type 1 diabetes in children is the presence of childhood viruses such as coxsackie B, enteroviruses, adenovirus, rubella, Measles, mumps, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus.


Among these viruses coxsackievirus play a crucial role in the obliteration of insulin-producing cells. Besides genetic predisposition and environmental triggers, certain other factors that prompt type 1 diabetes in children are active autoimmunity, progressive beta-cell destruction etc. This is often due to an autoimmune response where the destruction of the beta cells has occurred. A child with a family history of diabetes is at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Major studies conducted by UCLA and the University of Florida also proved the role of coxsackie viruses in causing type 1 diabetes in children. Breast feeding of infants for no less than four months help a lot in reducing the risk of type 1 diabetes in children. Contrary to the popular belief, diabetes is not caused by the consumption of foodstuffs with high sugar content. But sometimes in some people, especially kids, the immune system gets over activatedby some trigger factors and mistakenly destroys insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas.


Genetics, when combined with certain viruses and environmental triggers, cause the disease. Genetics, when combined with one or more environmental trigger factors, makes a person highly vulnerable to this disease. Certain chemicals and food contents can also cause juvenile diabetes; for instance, nitrosamine, a common food stabilizer, and protein present in cow’s milk, certain drugs such as streptozotocin and pentamidine. The major factors that cause beta cells to abruptly discontinue the production of insulin are varied.



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