Does the common cold cause T1 diabetes?

Researchers say that a common cold virus may be responsible for triggering Type 1 diabetes in children already at risk for the disease, according to a recent article from WebMD. This form of the disease impacts 1 out of every 400 children in the United States.

The researchers analyzed the findings of 26 studies and concluded that children with Type 1 diabetes are nearly ten times more likely to show signs of enterovirus infection than those without the disease. Children with prediabetes are three times more likely to have the virus than those without diabetes.

The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is not yet known, but most scientists have suspected a combination of genetics, environmental factors and an individual’s immune system play a role in onset of the disease. If this research proves correct, it could give credence to the “hygiene hypothesis,” a theory that suggests the rise in Type 1 diabetes is due to improved societal hygiene. The theory claims that in the past, when hygiene wasn’t as good as it is today, mothers passed more protective antibodies to their babies. With fewer antibodies, children are more susceptible to developing Type 1 diabetes. As reported by Diabetes Newshound.

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