Role Played by Antibodies in Diabetes

Role Played by Antibodies in Diabetes

To help in its earlier diagnosis, researchers keep investigating specific genetic markers that can predict a possible risk for developing diabetes before its process is underway. The role played by antibodies is one of the most important areas of interest.

Diabetes and Antibodies

Antibodies are special proteins in the blood and other body parts. They attack and detect all foreign substances in the human body, including harmful bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, antibodies may malfunction and start attacking body systems. When it happens, they are called autoantibodies. Patients who have diabetes type 1 often have autoantibodies that attack and destroy the islet beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This attack on the immune system may also happen in patients with diabetes type 2, but it occurs less often.

There are certain antibodies identified as linked to the development of this serious condition, including ICA and GADA. They fight unwanted proteins on and in islet beta cells. Patients with diabetes type 1 may have a higher level of these antibodies to fend off outside attacks along with autoantibodies that attack body systems. Any autoantibody attack destroys the islet cells that antibodies protect. About 95% of kids with diabetes type 1 have a high level of GADA and ICA, while about 25% of adult patients with diabetes type 2 have increased levels of these autoantibodies.

Early Screening of Antibodies

According to the latest research, the presence of GADA autoantibodies is a strong predictive market for a future onset of diabetes type 1. In most cases, they are present before the early symptoms of diabetes and prediabetes. Blood tests are required to screen for autoantibodies, especially in siblings of people diagnosed with diabetes type 1. That’s because they help doctors predict if their patients have a risk of developing diabetes and determine its type. This early detection enables all kinds of preventive measures to stop the onset of this serious disease.

Effective Diabetes Management and Antibodies

Many people tend to develop diabetes type 2, because they lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight. However, some patients with this condition can have autoantibodies and antibodies at as high and even higher levels compared to people with diabetes type 1. If they are diagnosed with diabetes type 2, they usually want to make certain blood tests to determine whether they have any autoantibodies in the body. If they have a high level of autoantibodies, they’re more likely to use insulin in the future. These details help doctors and patients predict the future course of this disease and if they will eventually require insulin to manage it.

In-Between Diabetes or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults

Some patients may develop adult-onset diabetes that may resemble diabetes type 2 and respond to all kinds of oral diabetic meds. Within several years they lose their effectiveness, so people start using insulin. This type of diabetes is also called LADA, or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults, diabetes type 1.5, and in-between diabetes. The main reason is that it starts as diabetes type 2 before turning into insulin-dependent diabetes type 1.

Patients with this condition have a higher level of GADA and ICA and a higher level of malfunctioning autoantibodies. The latter ones start overwhelming antibodies over time, thus, destroying the ability of the body to produce insulin. When it happens, diabetes type 2 turns into diabetes type 1.

Medical professionals claim that because patients with LADA have a high level of correctly functioning antibodies, the immune system can suppress autoantibodies more efficiently and for a longer period of time compared to people who have diabetes type 1 at an early age. Over time, autoantibodies of patients with LADA start destroying the ability of the body to produce insulin. That’s why people with LADA start developing insulin dependency faster compared to typical patients with diabetes type 2.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that some patients may have both types of malfunctioning autoantibodies, but they never develop any form of diabetes. Remember that the most important risk factors to be diagnosed with diabetes type 2, including your weight and diet, are not linked to the malfunctioning of your immune system. The good news is that these risk factors can be easily controlled if you choose healthy lifestyle habits. Your health should be monitored by doctors on a regular basis too.

How to Diagnose and Treat Type 2 Diabetes

How to Diagnose and Treat Type 2 Diabetes

About 347 million people all over the world have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, this health problem is diagnosed in about 29.1 million people in the USA; 86 million people have prediabetes, and about 8.1 million people do not know that they have it. Effective prevention and treatment depend on various factors, and you can do a lot to help yourself with it.

What You Can Do

If you have diabetes, it is very important to know how you can manage this condition. You should provide your physician with all the needed information, and if you have questions, you should ask them to clarify all the matters. This helps not only you, but also your healthcare provider, allowing him/her to determine the right diagnosis and make an effective treatment plan. Unfortunately, sometimes Type 2 diabetes remains untreated or treated poorly without a patient even knowing about it. That is why it is so important to learn as much as possible about this problem.

Check Your Numbers

If your healthcare provider tells you that you have increased levels of sugar, you should check the numbers. Do not miss your chance to manage this health problem at its early stages of development. Remember that you are at a higher risk if someone in your family has Type 2 diabetes, if you are over 40 years old, if you have excessive weight, heart disease or other health conditions. In this case, your doctor may recommend that you conduct a special test called Hemoglobin A1C. Thanks to this blood test, you can find out how your body utilizes sugar to determine your risk of having diabetes. Over three months, red blood cells die due to glucose or sugar that attaches to them. The A1C allows seeing a 3-month average of blood sugar.

If A1C shows 5.7-6.4%, it is considered to be a prediabetes range, which means that you can still do lots of things to prolong or prevent diabetes with exercise, diet and weight loss. This test is also helpful for people with diabetes, because it allows understanding where your sugars are ranging. According to some studies, people with diabetes can reduce the risk of microvascular complications of kidneys and eyes if they manage their blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping an A1C not more than 7%, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists believes that it should be not higher than 6.5%.

Find out More about Medications

It is a usual situation when a patient has a long list of medications and has no clue what they are for. This may cause problems, because if you do not know what these medications treat, you may take them incorrectly. That is why, you should find out as much information as possible about each drug that you use, including when to take it, dosage, possible side effects, etc. For instance, if you use a sulfonylurea (a medicine that initiates your pancreas to produce insulin) and use it without food, your blood sugar can go low.

Usually, it takes some time to find the most effective and safe medications. In order to find out information on the drugs you take, you should ask your healthcare provider. You can also use other sources if you know that they are reliable.

Determine Your Network of Specialists

Seeing different healthcare professionals may be overwhelming, but you have to meet at least some of them time to time. That is why you should determine what medical professionals should be included in your network. For instance, if you have diabetes and you are over 30 years old, you should see an ophthalmologist to have an eye exam one time a year. You also want to include a dietitian in your list, who can help you create an effective meal plan.

Other specialists that you also need to visits are the following:

• Cardiologist;
• Podiatrist;
• Endocrinologist;
• Vascular doctor.

If you are not sure what healthcare professionals you should see regularly, you can ask your physician.

Pay Attention to Symptoms

If you start experiencing unusual symptoms, such as pain or discomfort, you should visit your doctor. It is important to listen to your body, which will help you prevent the development of a range of issues. Diabetes can be managed, but if you pay no attention to its symptoms for a long time, your health condition may get much worse.