Type 1 diabetes almost always leads to the development of these or other complications. These include lesions of the vessels, nerves, problems with vision, heart, kidneys and liver.
As the recent work of scientists from the Johnson Diabetes Research Center (USA) has shown, some "veterans" of diabetes manage to avoid the occurrence of all or almost all the major complications of this formidable disease.
It turns out that many patients can live a long time with type 1 diabetes without developing life-threatening complications from various organs and systems. Finding this explanation was not so easy. The study found that the absence or minimal manifestations of complications may not be directly related to the control of blood glucose.
Specialists at all do not diminish the importance of self-control of diabetes, but other mechanisms may be included to protect against dangerous complications.
The researchers examined 351 patients. All of them lived with type 1 diabetes for 50 years. The average age of the participants in the study was about 68 years old, and the diagnosis was made at the age of about 11 years. Endocrinologists were looking for patients with typical diabetes complications, such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, cardiomyopathy.
It turned out that 43% of patients had severe eye problems; 87% of patients did not suffer from certain kidney abnormalities; 39% of the participants did not have neurological disorders; In 52% of patients there were no cardiovascular complications. In general about 20% of patients managed to avoid the development of complications from the eyes, kidneys and nervous system.
In all volunteers, blood sugar levels remained within normal limits. Also, the content of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) was estimated, which reflects the average glucose level in the last three months. It was about 7.3%. Endocrinologists are advised to keep the level of glycosylated hemoglobin in type 1 diabetes within 7% and below. So, diabetes self-control in all patients was good.
However, the researchers were interested in another explanation for such a favorable course of the disease. To do this, they evaluated the protein content of a special family of end-products of enhanced glycosylation (KPUH) in all participants in the experiment. Their level increases with increasing glucose in the blood. It turned out that in those patients who had a high level of two specific KPUH, complications arose seven times more often.
For scientists it turned out to be a surprise. After all, other combinations of KPUH molecules actually protect patients from the onset of eye complications. Therefore, scientists have suggested that some combinations of KPUH may not be so toxic to tissues as previously thought, they protect the body from complications.
According to researchers, in some patients with an adequate course of type 1 diabetes, over the years, peculiar mechanisms of protection against the aggressive effects of KPUG could be formed. These protective factors have made the KMPM molecules less toxic.
In addition, we can not forget about the following: "veterans" of diabetes who participated in the study, perfectly take care of themselves and their health. When they became ill with diabetes, it was little known about the disease. And even more so, scientists did not know about the subtle mechanisms of aggression and disease protection.
At that time, doctors did not even tell their patients about the need for strict blood sugar control. Therefore, further study of the characteristics of the disease in these patients can help other people with diabetes.