Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
Millions of people around the world live with Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Although most diabetes patients have type 2 diabetes, an important minority suffer from type 1 (~5%). Contrary to popular belief, type 1 diabetes is not a childhood disease, and can occur at any age, in people of every race, shape and size.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin at all. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown but it usually involves the body’s own immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses —mistakenly destroying the insulin-producing (islet, or islets of Langerhans) cells in the pancreas. Other possible causes include genetics or exposure to viruses and other environmental factors.
Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. Nowadays, treatment is focused on managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.
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The effects of the disease often vary. Some people have mild symptoms and don’t need any treatment while others will have trouble getting around and performing everyday tasks.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition, meaning that it affects the nerves. While it is not contagious, its causes are not yet fully understood, and researchers are still searching for answers. The disease develops when one’s immune system is not working properly and attacks the nerves by mistake. More specifically, it attacks a fatty material called myelin, which wraps around the nerve fibres to protect them. Without this outer shell, the nerves become damaged and as they control so many different parts of the body, a wide range of MS symptoms in many parts of the body may arise. This is why MS affects people in different ways.
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When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), an immune response in the small intestine is triggered. Over time, this reaction damages the small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of certain nutrients. The intestinal damage often causes diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anaemia, and can lead to serious complications. In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, in addition to the symptoms observed in adults.
Celiac disease is hereditary. Its main causes may come from an interaction between genes, eating foods with gluten and other environmental factors, but the precise cause isn’t known. Infant feeding practices, gastrointestinal infections and gut bacteria might contribute to celiac disease. Celiac disease is sometimes triggered — or becomes active for the first time — after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.
Some gene variations appear to increase the risk of developing the disease. But these do not necessarily mean that someone will get it, which suggests that additional factors must be involved.
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The four major types of pemphigus are: pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, IgA pemphigus and paraneoplastic pemphigus. Its different forms are distinguished by their clinical features, associated autoantigens, and laboratory findings.
Pemphigus is characterized by blistering in mucous membranes and the skin. Patients develop mucosal erosions and/or flaccid bullae (blisters), erosions or pustules on the skin (small bumps that fill with pus or fluid). Blistering may be accompanied by severe pain, itching, burning and stinging.
Although the precise cause of the disease isn’t known, Pemphigus occurs when the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against proteins in healthy skin and mucous membranes. The antibodies break down the bonds between the cells, and fluid collects between the layers of the skin, leading to blisters and erosions on the surface.
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