Type 2: Autoimmune?

Conventional wisdom holds that Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition — caused by a misguided attack by the immune system on the beta cells of the pancreas — while Type 2 diabetes is not, caused instead by a combination of genes and lifestyle. Experts have debated the relative importance of genes, lifestyle, and environmental factors in the development of Type 2 diabetes — and at times, studies linking Type 2 diabetes to pollution and toxins have fueled speculation that autoimmunity plays a role in its development. But until this month, there was little conclusive evidence of an autoimmune role in Type 2 diabetes.


That changed last week, with the release of a study that addressed the potential connection between autoimmunity and Type 2 diabetes head-on. Published on the Web site of the journal Nature Medicine, the study had two components: one in humans, and one in mice. As described in a HealthDay article, for the mouse experiment, researchers fed mice a high-fat diet that would be expected to induce insulin resistance, a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes in humans. After five weeks, they gave some of the mice a drug, known as anti-CD20, that suppresses the immune system by depleting a type of immune system cell known as B cells. In mice given the drug, there was no sign of insulin resistance, and blood glucose levels were normal. All of the other mice developed insulin resistance. This result suggests that in overweight mice — and, most likely, humans — an immune system attack on fat cells, instigated by B cells, leads to insulin resistance.

Conducting a similar experiment in humans would be much more complicated, both pragmatically and ethically, since the drug anti-CD20 (known as rituximab when intended for humans) broadly suppresses the immune system, not just autoimmune attacks on fat cells. So to test whether the mice findings might also apply to humans, the researchers took blood samples from 32 obese people, half of whom had insulin resistance. The blood samples were screened for antibodies — proteins created by the immune system to attack specific substances — and the researchers found that distinctly different sets of antibodies were present in participants with and without insulin resistance. While this result does not have the same scientific weight as an intervention study (in which participants are randomly assigned to a treatment), it does suggest that autoimmunity plays a role in insulin resistance in humans. Further research could possibly lead to new therapies for Type 2 diabetes that address autoimmunity, or to prevention efforts if environmental triggers of autoimmunity — such as chemicals or pollution — can be linked to diabetes.

What do you think — if you have Type 2 diabetes, are you pleased to see new evidence that you didn’t “bring it on yourself” simply by being overweight or obese? Given that many toxins and chemicals are associated with autoimmunity, do you suspect that any of these might have contributed to your diabetes? Do you think this study will inspire a new sense of solidarity between people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, now that both conditions appear to involve autoimmunity — or will some rancor between the two groups continue? Leave a comment below!

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  • e finniss

    Why in the world should there be any rancor between type 1 and type 2 diabetics? This is carrying victim hood to a ridiculous extreme.
    To what end is “solidarity” between the two to be encouraged or discouraged.
    Get a life!

  • Allie Beatty

    Having type 1 diabetes, I am happy to hear that research is taking a new direction. If 9/10 of most diabetes research dollars go toward type 2 – maybe now that it’s considered an ‘autoimmune’ defect – maybe this will work-out for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

  • Miriam Bergen

    Very interesting, but it does not take into account people who develop diabetes due to surgery. I had half my pancreas removed because of an obstruction in the pancreatic duct and developed diabetes 3 years later. Doctors attributed to the remainder of my pancreas no longer able to make enough insulin.

  • Bob

    Rancor between the two groups? That is ridiculous.
    We have a disease – Diabetes. Each type requires a different treatment plan.

    This is no different than cancer patients. Each type of cancer has it’s treatment protocols, but cancer patients don’t resent each other, they support each other in the cause to find a cure and a prevention.

    I suspect that the same is true for all people with diabetes.

    I hope that further research on this autoimmune issue results in a cure for all diabetics.

  • Jackie Kelley

    Much more research needs to be done before this information becomes “the facts”.

  • Peggy

    I have never been obese or even overweight and I developed Type 2 Diabetes 20 years ago, so I have never thought weight was the cause. No one in my family had been diagnosed with the disease before me. I am 76 years old and am glad to hear that new developments are being considered for the cause.

  • al cicere

    I am pleased to see that research bears out that my Type 2 Diabetes is not caused by some flaw in my character, but rather a flaw in my genetic make-up, family history, and my pancreas. Maybe I won’t beat myself up over being “weak” or out of control with my eating like I have for so long.

  • Millie

    ANY advance in the study of Diabetes is a step towards mitigating the suffering a person endures with a disease that threatens to end their life early. Where does the issue of rancor come up, in Quinn Phillips attempt to create a mind war that does not exist? Is it about throwing out a mind game topic for this blog?

    If lifestyle is to be blamed, let’s hit on smokers with any type of cancer and biker riders with brain injuries!!!

    I am have IDDM due to the use of Dexamethasone for brain swelling after surgery for a BRAIN TUMOR. It killed my pancreas and so far it has not resusitated. So I was a Type II, gave myself a brain tumor and now I am a Type I? Famous quote, “IT’S ABOUT THE INSULIN, NOT THE SUGAR, STOOPID.” Insulin resistance, or none at all, remember?

  • Kristen Moore

    This makes more sense to me, since I have other autoimmune diseases. In fact, in the past 6 months, I have been in a lupus flare and my type 2 diabetes has not been under control as I would like. I hope that more research can be done to help both type 1 & 2 diabetics, in finding a cure.

  • Roseann

    You know once you are a diabetic, we are like magnets, we catch everything so why does this not surprize me ? I have not been to a Dr. since before Christmas & have not tested my sugar since then. I have lost 25 pounds since then. I am now down to 95 pounds. BUT, I am still alive. I have GOD.

  • Dorothy Brown

    I always considered Type 2 diabetes to be an auto-immune disorder. I’ve had hashimotos thyroiditis for a number of years, and was not surprised when I was diagnosed as “insulin resistant.” I am not obese, and do not consider myself overweight, as I tend to be more muscular.

    Rancor between Type 1 and Type 2? Surprise to me. I suspose the rancor is between clinicians.

    I was not aware that the CD20 B-cells had involvement, though. My CD20 is 21% dim, and I guess is a factor to be considered as well.

    Thanks for an informative article.

  • Eduardo

    I am not obese, nor fat, my weight is average.
    Will this new findings help my Diabetes 2

  • Richard Edzards

    I do not feel there is an difference. I welcome the study that follows the auto immune line. I think that heart problems are also related to inflamition and not solely by life style choices. Our environment is so much more polluted in the last 100 years it is no wonder these toxins have had a negative effect on humans. I would support additional research. I have had cancer and I think it was brought on by either a genetic issue or an environmental issue.

  • cindy

    glad to hear research is heading in a new direction. Too many people have type 2 for it to be just from eating too many sweets. how the studies continue quickly and develope more effective medicines than we now have.

  • SLT

    I agree with the posting from AC. Which in part was posted as:

    “I am pleased to see that research bears out that my Type 2 Diabetes is not caused by some flaw in my character, but rather a flaw in my genetic make-up, family history, and my pancreas”.

    I am tired of people always pointing out that I’m “weak” or out of control with my eating. Do they not think we have feelings or can’t hear them?

  • Alice Pace

    I am a type 2 diabetic. I had breastcancer in 1996 and was dignoised with diabetes. My sugare where close to 8oo. I think this my have cause my diabetes,
    I am insulin dependent now. On Lantus and Novolog.



  • Renee Sarmiento

    I am glad to hear that something is bringing type1 diabetes into focus. Everything has been focused on type 2 for so long that those of us with type 1 were overlooked greatly. Diabetes is a major illness no matter what type but don’t forget about us type 1’s even though there are fewer of us.

    • Ann Nonymous

      Type 1 is curable now with Islets of Langerhans transplantation.

  • Linda Hopkins

    This information does not surprise me. I have felt for some time that particularly my insulin resis- tance was an auto-immune condition. I have an extremely high genetic link on both sides of my family, but no one ever developed it as young as I did (40) or at an average weight. I am now 73. I have a strong allergy component in my history as well. It is interesting to have some scientific studies that support the auto-immune etiology.

  • janet H.

    I’ve had diabetes since 1999 at age 46. And in 2005, I asked my Dr. to test me for Lupus. Because,my mother had it for 10 yrs. and did not know it. I became aware of some slight symptoms that I was having so I asked for the test. And the ANA came back positive.I had already been diagnosed with DJD and DDD.I was not over weight neither.But since I started on the diabetic medication (metformin)I’ve gained weight.The medication causes weight gain.So, I would be delighted with the prospect for the study.I think that the environment is so polluted now days more than ever. And we are showing the results.

  • sunburst

    Within a year after diagnosis of Hep C 11 years ago and 48 weeks of unsuccessful treatment, I was diasgnosed with Celiac Disease – an autoimmune ailment. Within a year after that I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It’s a good chance the virus and treatment triggered the Celiac. Whether the diabetes was triggered by the virus/treatment or the celiac or was genetic m(my sister was a Type 1)- I’m not sure. This article focuses some attention to the Celiac fostering the diabetes. I have never been overweight. Either way, it’s absurd for there to be any kind of conflict between Types.

  • Pat Weiser

    I’m glad there is more research to help Type 2s. We always seem to be left in the dust as far as research goes. But rancor? What a ridiculous notion. The autoimmune link makes sense to me too. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia shortly after my diabetes diagnoses.
    I am no longer in that period of my life, but I have a friend who is convinced my diabetes was brought on by a particularly bad marriage where there was no ‘sweetness’ in my life for years and years. Interesting notion.

  • still too fat

    I’m one of those who was told by a doctor that all my medical problems were due to weakness of character and lack of “will power.” The same doctor, by the way, has struggled for years to quit smoking. However in his case, it’s not that he’s weak willed, but that he was deliberately addicted by unscrupulous tobacco companies.

  • Just Curious

    I don’t know how I feel about any of this, but in 2001 I had an ERCP test, where they ran a scope through my stomach and shot dye into my pancreas to x-ray. Shortly afterward, within a week, I ended up in the hospital with pancreatitis. Drs said the test “mucked up my pancreas” and caused my dilemia. Interestly, in 2009, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Noboby in my family history had this disease. Has anyone else had this happen to them? If so, do you think this may have brought on the disease?

    Just Curious is all!

  • Becky

    This research is a like a breath of fresh air. It is about time people looked at diabetes as a disease and not as something a person did or didn’t do. I am thin and have diabetes as do other thin people. I know people who are quite overweight and never develop it. I think being overweight makes it worse if you have it, but I don’t think the added weight causes it unless you were genetically destined to get it anyway.

  • Donna S.

    I am also one of the many folks with multiple auto-immune diseases. I have never doubted that my type-2 diabetes is also an auto-immune disorder. I’m glad researchers are finally finding ways to prove it.

  • Tara Meyer

    Research is the only way learn, I hope this will help in that there is a common reason for both types. I really don’t think there is any real “rankor” between us. The more we know the better the outlook for us and hopefully future generations.

  • David Middlebrooke

    Makes sense to me. I developed type 2 diabetes at 41, had an MS attack at age 50.

  • joni

    I’ve had Type 2 diabetes since I was 6 years old and was able to control it with diet and exercise until I went through menopause. I was never overweight. I also developed Peripheral Neuropathy 15 years before my blood sugars began rising. I also still have very good blood flow to my now numb feet and hands. There is still A LOT to be learned about Diabetes and the complications that result from it.

    • Ann Nonymous

      Rub coconut oil on nightly. Put on cotton socks and gloves.

  • Patricia Tittle

    Been type 2 since age of nine. Very active child and not overweight and no illness.
    After 52 years as a diabetic (trying every diabetic medicine out there and finally ending up on metformin and glyburide)my numbers are still all over the scale. However,I have no symptoms of an out of control diabetic and am in very good health otherwise.
    Sure hope research can find the reason for type 2 so I and others can get off the daily pills (which only help a little to keep my numbers down).
    All research is appreciated.

  • Lora

    Considering I have other autoimmune issues, I am most certainly not surprised that Type II may be a systemic issue as well. The findings will help me in explaining to my loved ones that I really did nothing, knowingly, to bring this on! I am not obese, I am not even overweight, so of course, conventional “wisdom” appears wrong for me, and for others like me.

  • Dr. Alka singhal

    yes autoimmune system plays important role.When some herbal immunomodulator compuonds were added to the prescription of type 2 patients a miraculous effect was seen. how it works? it is the subject of research.

  • Robin Newton

    I have had systemic lupus for many years, and was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes a couple of years ago. I don’t know if it is related, but do know steriod treatments, such as prednisone, can increase risk of Diabetes.

  • Diane

    I also have T2 with a thyroid problem. I have always been very athletic and active and never overweight. Even today at 50 I take tae kwon do, kick box and swim. Could not do all that at my age if I didn’t exerise all along. I also have a lot of family members with T2 and thyroid issues and none are overweight.

  • Regan Ann

    I was diagnosed with Type 2 a year ago. I am 33 years old, and have never been overweight. In fact, for most of my life, I have been athletic and had a very healthy diet. I was vegetarian for 10 years, and then did the South Beach Diet following a car accident where I couldn’t work out for six months. I weigh more now since I’ve followed the diabetic diet than I ever have! My doctors concluded that since I had celebrated my birthday a few days prior by drinking with friends (I got very ill and went to the ER immediately after) that I was an alcoholic and had “brought it on myself”. I was furious and threw two counselors out of my ICU room. I have no family history of diabetes. This news is very reassuring.

  • Sherri Cates

    I agree with Renee. My daughter is type 1 (diagnosed at 16 and 3 months after my husband)and my husband is type 2. I’ve received comments about my daughter saying that if she would just exercise and watch what she eats she could cure her diabetes! She is physically fit and never had a weight issue and the only way she will ever be cured is with a pancreas transplant which will never happen! People need to know the difference between the two types – INSULIN DEPENDENT or INSULIN RESISTANT and if type 2 is linked to auto immune, people still need to exercise and eat in moderation whether they have type 1, type 2 or what ever!

  • Joyce

    Still unanswered is the cause of Type 2 in slender people who get regular exercise. ūüôĀ

    • Ann Nonymous

      The Islets of Langerhans are ineffective. They are now doing transplants on Type I diabetics.

  • Mark 41

    Hopefully the research will refocus endocrinologists involved in treating patients away from the blame-game toward Type-2 patients. We need better testing for actual insulin levels in the bloodstream so that type-2 treatment is pro-active, rather than reacting merely to blood sugar levels.

  • Bob Langley

    I am 64 year old and have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes for several years. I am managing good control with insulin and medication. I also am a Vietnam veteran and I receive VA disability due to exposure to Agent Orange.

    I don’t know whether my diabetes was brought on by my lifestyle or exposure to the toxin, but these findings would seem to validate the VA’s finding of a correlation between Agent Orange exposure and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Lynne

    This is wonderful information for all of us who have gotten the “hand and mouth” garbage so many Doctors want to spout at us.

    It makes a lot of sense for me since I have already been diagnosed with another autoimmune disease.

    Explains why some very thing people can have insulin resistance also. I never thought of myself as being type 2 or type 1 as much as having diabetes. We all had to make drastic changes in lifestyles to deal with it.

  • Ruth

    I have a lot of allergies which are considered an autoimmune problem so learning that stage 2 diabetes is probably related to this doesn’t surprise me. The immune system is more complicated than scientists will admit

  • Ted

    I believe they are still off a little in their quest.

    One thing that I have read that has gained acceptance is the fact that inflammation leads to insulin resistance. I personally believe that insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are one in the same, that the resistance is the first symptom of diabetes. I also believe that there are many things that can cause systemic inflammation. Some of these things are autoimmune and some are auto-inflammatory. Most diabetics CRP levels are elevated if testing is performed. Whatever is causing it, leads one down the path to type 2 diabetes. For me, I have had Ankylosing Spondylitis for some years before I was diagnosed with diabetes. AS is an auto-inflammatory disease. With medication, exercise, and weight loss all of my numbers are now back to the normal range. These include A1C, CRP, and ESR numbers.

    • abanana

      You can never snap out of type 2 diabetes

  • peggy brewster

    I guess I’mjust dumb. Why would there be competition between type 1 ande type II??

  • Natalie Sera

    For those who haven’t seen the rancor between Type 1’s and Type 2’s, I HAVE. I’m on several diabetes related websites, and every so often they erupt into a war. There are a number of Type 1’s who haven’t got a clue about the realities of Type 2, and buy into the myth that Type 2’s caused their own disease by sitting on the couch and eating Twinkies. And are VERY willing to blame them for causing their own disease. Plus negative obesity stereotypes and discriminatory statements are all too common.

    But on the other hand, there are a lot of Type 2’s who haven’t got a clue about the realities of Type 1. They don’t understand the erratic WILDLY swinging blood sugars, and the possibility of passing out from a low at any time, or the possibility of going into serious DKA if your pump cannula kinks. The need for testing 10-12 times a day, because you never know what your BG is going to do. And for children and teenagers, being the odd one out.

    So, yes, there IS rancor, and the only solution is education, and enough compassion to walk a mile in the other’s shoes.

  • Pam S

    I have become diabetic. Do not have a family history or the usual markers. I work out everyday
    and lead an active lifestyle. Am not obese and I eat healthy. Developed diabetes at age 60. I am
    very frustrated by all the hype that lifestyle is the cause. I also have hashimoto’s disease which is autoimmune. Have always wondered if that played a role. I am having a real hard time with
    blood sugar conrol. It is high-low-in the middle and it doesn’t seem to matter what I do. If I work out, even if I eat before, I end up hypoglycemia. What a life!

  • Melinda P

    If Type 2 does have an autoimmune component, then my developing Type 2 would finally make sense. I can trace everything back to getting a fairly severe case of chickenpox at age 18. From then on, my health went downhill. Within 6 months of the chickenpox, I developed an NLD (necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum) which is a rare skin lesion directly associated to diabetes. My cholesterol and triglycerides also sky-rocketed within a few months of having the chickenpox, and I had numerous other problems until I was finally diagnosed at age 22 with Type 2 with no family history whatsoever.

    I see the occasional rancor between people with different types. But more often, I see the difference in doctor’s attitudes toward the different types. I also see the attitudes in people without diabetes toward the different types. If anything, I’d say the problem is not between those with type 1 and type 2, but rather all the misinformation propogated by everyone else, especially the media.


    I think this is good news, but more studies are needed.

  • Shari

    Not sure, but I would say that there is probably an auto-immune connection to type 2 diabetes. I have Hypo-Thyroidism, Celiac and just recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. ALL auto immune diseases. They all attack my body in some way. Now lets throw in one more variable… I have A-NEGATIVE blood. I had to have a shot in my a** in my 26th week of pregnancy so my body wouldn’t kill my baby. If my blood can kill a baby, then wouldn’t this mean that there could be a link between A-negative blood and auto-immune diseases that try to attack one’s organs?
    I wish they would look at this too.
    (I also have Wolffe, Parkinson, White – which is an EXTRA pathway in my heart which is much, much narrower – so when blood shoots through it, I could go into Afib. ANOTHER genetic disorder… just saying)

    • Frances

      Shari – I too have A- blood and had to have anti D in pregnancy. I also have Lichen Sclerosus, Lichen Planus..both auto immune—and–type 2 diabetes.

  • jim snell

    As type 2 problem/diusease is a complex set of issues and that gene and auto-immune issues may be connected to some of the probelsm that arise and one find’s one self type2; the search for a single overriding factor – one answer that solves all and ends up as the perfect silver bullet to kill vampires while desireable and I do believe is needing research and investigation; is over looking some key factors having to do with:

    the old hunter gatherer super efficient gene digestion system designed to prevent starvation while surviving on low grade intermittent supplies of food. Whitness all the fat to glucose; muscle to glucose back up stratagies of the body. This system puts every bit of glucose that can be surfaced out of food and stuff in the blood system. None of this is bypassed if body is satiated – temporary glucose store of the muscle cells saturated.

    Couple this with 24/7 source of excellent grains, foods, sugars which the human body was optimized thousands of years ago to prevent starvation not coping with constant over suppy of glucose and saturation of the fat and skeletal muscle cell glucose temporary stores.

    Add the fact that we have added all sorts of great easily available couch potato job tools, skills, entertainment, cars, laptops, games, wide screen TV’s all dropping the exercise quotient way down. The human body was designed to be exercised and work physically. The Pharoph’s of Egypt could never have built the pyramids mostly by hand moving 2 stone blocks without the increible carbohydrate riches from the rich river lowlands farming.

    Heraty Exercise is the only way to draw down the glucose temporary stores of the skeletal muscles that regulate the blood system glucose levels upon insulin command. Once those stores saturated, the glucose backs up in the blood system and body rots out.

    The other aspect in my mind is that the liver, pancrease and fat cells and skeletal muscle cells form the basic regulation system. As one ages, it is noticed that diabetes gets worse – it does not stay static. My layman’s guess is that the liver starts leaking more glucose on its low level feed used to set the basic operating level when gut empty. At same time, pancreas slows down its output of basil insulin. In early stages we have slight offset of Body BG that is called pre-diabetes.

    As liver ages and releases more and more glucose due to ( diease, auto immune , gene fracas’s ) the skeletal muscle cells get filled up and saturated as one slows down later in life and burning off less of the glucose.

    This also explains why metformin is successful in its diabetes role slowing/stopping excess liver glucose release.

    While admirable looking for a single sole all encompassing solution, my guess as layman is that in the end, cures will end up being a complex web/package of medicines, carbs control-energy balance, sufficient hearty exercise and other management techniques woven together as a quilt.

  • terrie

    I’ve had type 2 since I was 16 (also known as MODI). I was a tiny, skinny kid at the time. Only type 1 is in my family on my father’s side, however, we have a whole menu of autoimmune disorders in just about every family member on my mother’s side. I find it hard to believe, based on ym history, that type 2 is not autoimmune, at least to some degree.

  • linda

    My query is simple…you mention the relationship of fat cells in the overweight and obese type 2 population. What of thin type 2 diabetics?
    Is there a connection there as well to the possibility of “our” type 2 being auto-immune as well?

  • Jasmine

    After being treated for an autoimmune disease (lichen planus) for several years and there is no known cure and the treatments are no better, I now have been diagnosed with type2. After the Docs used steroids, and Plaquenil (a lupus drug, which has now damaged me for life) and 3 years of antibiotics on me I get this! There has to be a lot of truth in the connection between diabetes and our autoimmune systems(and no family history) I was given Metformin to get my glucose under control, less than a week later he had me take 3 pills a day instead of 2. They made me nauseas and my vision was fine before I started this med and after doing 3 pills I had to buy 220 power readers cause everything was so blurry and to see my tv. This was not working for me. I went to a hollistic doctor the next week and within 3 weeks I stopped taking any Metformin, my eyesight has improved and my fasting sugar is around 92 and not fasting is always under 100 and I in one month lost 17 lbs by doing a very healthy diet and am working out 5 days a week. I hope that very soon there will be a cure (and not just a patch) to rid ourselves from this deadly disease.

    • EM Silinsky

      Jasmine, I would be very grateful if you could give me a general understanding of your holistic practitioner’s food plan – is it Low Carb High Fat? Or something like it? Is it Vegan? Thanks!

  • Jamie

    I have type 2 (or is it really type 1?) and have always believed the doctors are stupid and not treating it correctly. I’ve had some symptoms of diabetes since at least age 10 when my hormones began to change; only no one noticed then. i was underweight (super model thin) until mid thirties and only occasionally exhibited symptoms of low blood sugar (still not aware of diabetes). Then I gained weight to a “normal” size and was at the bottom of my healthy weight range. Only when peri-menopause began did I become overweight and was diagnosed as pre diabetic. Now I’m diabetic and all these incompetent, robotic doctors want to do is ply me with more and more drugs. but I refuse. I exercise a lot and struggle to lose weight (I’m getting there). I have no confidence in doctors and I refuse to be plied with a lot of drugs (I take only two). As soon as I get my weight down to pre-menopause level, I’m going to insist on a planned reduction in the drugs (assuming the glucose is under control). What really galls me is their dependence on that inaccurate, almost worthless A1C test. I’m very happy to hear about Type 2 as autoimmune disease research. Maybe now the doctors can help us have a decent quality of life without making the pharmas filthy rich.

  • kelly

    OK so it’s just a coincidence that 90% of us with type 2 also don’t exercise, are overweight with unhealthy diets and/or smoke.g GET REAL people

    • abanana

      Who is ‘90% of us’? Likely exists in your head

  • Dr John de los Angeles

    I am not at all surprised at the growing evidence that Type 2 Diabetes can also be an autoimmune disease and inherited. My father had low level asthma, colitis and Type 2 Diabetes. I have exactly the same group of diseases and so does my eldest son. This is extraordinarily important research with potentially massive implications.

  • jd

    Thats exactly what I think is my problem. Too bad I cant get my doctor to be curiuos enough to look.

  • Susan Redmond

    I’m 56 and am probably developing type 2 diabetes. My A1c at it’s highest in December was 6.3 although 3 months ago (with extreme carb counting and reduction) was 5.9. My doctor is suggesting I go on metformin if this round of bloodwork shows my A1c as being higher. I have been beating myself up for over-eating and eating lots of cookies and junk in the past, but I’m not nor ever have been overweight, and I have no family history of type 2. Glad to read this article which suggests it may be an auto-immune disease. I’ve got inflammation from GERD and Interstitial Cystitis, so I won’t be surprised if their conclusions bear out that this is another inflammatory response by my body. I hope a cure or treatment comes soon.

    • abanana

      It’s a common misconception. Type 2 diabetes is not a result of eating too many sweets. Your A1C being at 6.3 means that you have a prediabetes. I wonder if your doc is a primary care. You need to see an endocrinologist. Oftentimes PCPs don’t know much about diabetes

    • Ann Nonymous

      Check out the videos on Islets of Langerhans transplants.

  • lisa

    I have other autoimmune diseases and have started developing insulin resistance though I am not full type 2 diabetes as yet. Having one autoimmune diseases puts you at high risk for others. This relationship makes sense to me. I am in the process of treating my autoimmunity with diet…

  • David Roberts

    I see no “rancor between the two groups” of diabetes sufferers. They both have diabetes, which is caused by an overabundance of glucose.

    • abanana

      It’s a common misconception. Diabetes is NOT caused by ‘overabundance of glucose’. Where did you get this from?

  • abanana

    I would be pleased to see that Type 2 is autoimmune. This would make a huge difference in its treatment. As of now, all the treatment is aimed at the symptoms but not at the cause. I was taking Enbrel for my RA that I credit for putting it into remission. Would love to see something similar for T2D.

    However looks like the research in this direction has come to a screeching halt. As of now, some websites will dance around the issue of it being autoimmune, yet no one can state with certainty; sounds like it’s almost politically incorrect. Hence the attitude toward the T2D sufferers that they brought it on by themselves while nothing can be further from the truth. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE STUDIES FROZEN FOUR YEARS AGO???

    Thin people and / or athletes can have it, too. Like Billy Jean King or John Anderson.

  • Ann Nonymous

    I believe autoimmunity definitely plays a part in my condition. Even though I have hypothyroidism, vitiligo and a fatty liver, the clinic here that specializes in autoimmune diseases said I was not autoimmune! HAH! Now I am borderline diabetic. So, does that make me Type 1 or Type II? Flip a coin!!!

    • Elizabeth Danielle Wood

      I have the same issue except along with being pre-diabetic I have diagnosed hyperthyroidism / thyroiditis, PCOS, a mental disorder, and a sensitive stomach, which can all be side-effects of autoimmunity. I went to the top endocrinologist in my city and he tried to tell me that I was wrong. I’d like to know if it’s type I or II as well, so if you’ve found out by now, please let me know.

  • Victoria Hunter

    Shari – I am blood group A negative too. I had anti D injections in both pregnancies. I was told because babies had positive blood so rejection in my next pregnancy without anti D jab. Antibodies reject any positive blood group as poisonous.
    Is being a blood group NEGATIVE causing this disease?
    I’d like to think this has already been checked, since so simple.

  • Cathay Qualls Stuart

    Ive always been told i have a good immune system by my doctors, but in 2014 i was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…about a year earlier i started taking flu shots for the first time in my life. I. Have taken them ever since. I am 70 years old. Could there be something in the flu shot to cause me to become diabetic this late in life.

  • Jill Koehler

    Considering that my son is autistic, and has now developed type 2 diabetes at age 22, and my sister’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 at 9 years old, I would have to say there is no question that type 2 is autoimmune related.