Written and posted by: Bhawana Jain

Published on: January 19, 2017

Article Source: Endocrine Society

Abstract: According to a new study, people with Type 1 diabetes display inflammation in the digestive tract and changes in gut bacteria which is not found in individuals who do not have diabetes or those who have celiac disease.

Complete article:

A new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that people who suffer from Type 1 diabetes show changes in the digestive tract and gut microbiome which differ from individuals who do not have diabetes or those who have celiac disease.

Type 1 diabetes is a form of Diabetes Mellitus caused when the body produces little to no insulin. As the hormone is responsible for carrying glucose from the blood to body’s cells, the absence of insulin results in high blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes generally affects people at a young age and is often referred as Juvenile Diabetes. Till date, there is no cure for the disease. It results when body’s own immune system starts attacking the pancreas and inhibits the gland from producing insulin. Thus, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition.


Type 1 diabetes affects nearly 1 million people in the US. According to a recent report from Society’s Endocrine Facts and Figures, in every 1,000 American adults, between one and five people have Type 1 diabetes. This is the reason researchers keep on investigating about this disease so as to find out any fresh clue which might help cure the disease. Nowadays, the link between gut and Type 1 diabetes is a hot topic.

“Our findings indicate the individuals with Type 1 diabetes have an inflammatory signature and microbiome that differ from what we see in people who do not have diabetes or even in those with other autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease,” said the study’s senior author, Lorenzo Piemonti, MD, of the Diabetes Research Institute at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy. “Some researchers have theorized that the gut may contribute to the development of Type 1 diabetes, so it is important to understand how the disease affects the digestive system and microbiome.”

The study involved examining the microbiome of 54 individuals who underwent endoscopies and biopsies of the duodenum (the first part of small intestine), at San Raffaele Hospital between 2009 and 2015. The individuals selected were either undergoing a diagnostic procedure to get diagnosed with a gastrointestinal disorder or volunteered to participate in the study.

Through this study, the researchers could directly assess the gastrointestinal tract and bacteria wherein other studies are based on analysis of stool samples. The assessment of tissues sampled from the endoscopy generated high-resolution images of the innermost layer of the gastrointestinal tract.

People with Type 1 diabetes displayed significantly high signs of inflammation of the gut’s mucous membrane linked to 10 specific genes when compared to the individuals who had celiac disease and control healthy subjects. Participants with Type 1 diabetes also displayed a distinct combination of gut bacteria that was different from the other two groups.

The above study may help the researchers to find new ways to treat the disease by targeting the unique gastrointestinal characteristics of individuals with Type 1 diabetes.

Journal Reference:

Lorenzo Piemonti et al. Duodenal mucosa of patients with type 1 diabetes shows distinctive inflammatory profile and microbiotaJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, January 2017 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2016-3222