Sept. 29, 2011 -- Researchers have identified a new set of genes that may increase risk for type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is the form of the disease that occurs when the body produces little to no insulin, which is the hormone that helps the body keep blood sugar (glucose) levels in check. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day.
Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia tapped into six large databases encompassing 10,000 people with type 1 diabetes and 17,000 people without diabetes for comparison.
The databases contained information on single-nucleotide polymorphism or SNPs, which are changes in a DNA sequence. SNPs are not disease-causing genetic mutations. Instead, they serve as signposts that alert scientists to particular gene regions associated with a disease.
The researchers located three new SNPs and confirmed the existence and location of other SNPs. The three new SNPs add to 50 that had been identified previously and are thought to be linked to type 1 diabetes.
The SNP with the greatest significance in the new study was found in the region of the LMO7 gene on chromosome 13.
The exact nature of the relationship is not yet fully understood, but the LMO7 gene is seen in the pancreas’ islet cells. The islet cells produce insulin.
"We're much further along in finding the full genetic architecture in type 1 diabetes than in any other complex disorder," researcher Struan F. A. Grant, PhD, says in a news release. Grant is the associate director of the Center for Applied Genomics at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. "But there's clearly much work ahead in translating knowledge to clinical use."
The findings appear online in Public Library of Science Genetics.
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.