Is type 2 diabetes an autoimmune disease? research finds

For years, researchers and doctors thought that type 2 diabetes was a metabolic ailment. This sort of disorder arises when natural chemical processes of your body don’t work well.

But current research proposes that type 2 diabetes may be an autoimmune disease. If this is the case, new actions and precautionary measures may be developed to treat this disorder. Presently, there is not sufficient proof to entirely support this idea. For the time being, doctors will continue to prevent and treat this disease with medications, lifestyle changes, and injected insulin.

Type 1 diabetes vs. type 2 diabetes

Regardless of their analogous names, type 2 diabetes has generally been observed as a diverse type of disease than type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

It is an autoimmune disease. It is sometimes also called juvenile diabetes as it’s often detected in children and youths. In this disease, the body’s immune system wrongly attacks the healthy body tissues and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. The destruction from these attacks stops the pancreas from providing insulin to the body.

Without an ample insulin supply, cells cannot get the energy they want. Therefore, blood sugar levels increase, leading to symptoms such as increased thirst, irritability, and frequent urination.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes arises when your body can’t produce sufficient insulin or becomes resistant to insulin. The hormone insulin transfers glucose from the blood to your cells. Then, your cells change glucose to energy.

Your cells can’t use glucose without insulin, and diabetes symptoms can occur. These symptoms may include increased hunger, fatigue, increased thirst, and blurred vision.

What the research says

In the last period, researchers have verified the idea that type 2 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, like type 1 diabetes.

Researchers have found confirmation that insulin resistance may be the consequence of immune cells attacking the body’s tissues. These cells are intended to produce the antibodies which fight attacking germs., bacteria, and viruses. But these cells may falsely attack healthy tissue in people with type 2 diabetes.

Implications for treatment of type 2 diabetes

If type 2 diabetes is an autoimmune illness, the finding may have vast effects on our understanding of obesity. It may also distress the way obesity-induced type 2 diabetes is treated. Doctors now treat type 2 diabetes with two traditional methods.

The first emphases on a healthy routine. A healthy food and everyday exercise are the supports of this treatment. Doctors then normally prescribe oral medicines which work in different means to increase your body’s capacity to use insulin, to make less glucose, and to do other activities.

If prescriptions don’t work, you may require to use insulin. Insulin injections can support your body cells to absorb glucose and produce energy.

Some diabetic patients may be able to delay insulin injections with healthy lifestyle alterations and treatments. Others may want them right away. If type 2 diabetes is an autoimmune infection, that could alter the treatment approach. In place of insulin and exercise, doctors might reflect immunosuppressant prescriptions.

Immunosuppressant medications

One such immunosuppressant drug is rituximab (Rituxan, MabThera). It belongs to a set of drugs called anti-CD20 antibodies. These drugs are designed to aim and remove the immunity cells which are attacking normal body tissue.

In one 2011 research, anti-CD20 antibodies effectively prevented lab mice at risk for type 2 diabetes from emerging the syndrome. The treatment also returned their levels of blood sugar to normal.

Some research specifies that medications disturbing the immune system may advantage persons with type 2 diabetes. Immunosuppressant medicines like anti-CD20 antibodies could prevent the body’s immune system cells, such as B cells, from attacking normal tissue.

Now, anti-CD20 antibodies are used to treat some autoimmune disorders, counting multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Using these drugs to treat type 2 diabetes is a long way off, but the initial outcomes are encouraging.


The research proposing that type 2 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder signifies a major progress in medicine. A better understanding of what might be initiating type 2 diabetes is vital to providing the most effective and best treatments. Future research could approve that it is certainly an autoimmune disease. Then prevention and treatment will turn to innovative therapies and medications.

More research is required before type 2 diabetes is deliberated an autoimmune disease. Also, continue to test your blood sugar levels often, pump or insert insulin to keep a “normal” blood sugar levels, and retain your body healthy.



Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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