The Pancreas Shrinks in Those With Type 1
The pancreases of people with type 1 diabetes shrink, a study found, and this contraction probably starts even before the disease's onset and continues as the years pass. Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the size of pancreases in 20 men who'd recently developed type 1 and in 24 men without diabetes. The diabetic pancreas was, on average, 26 percent smaller than a typical pancreas. A previous study found that in people who've had type 1 for more than 10 years, the pancreas is an average of 48 percent smaller. Type 1 diabetes occurs when a misfiring immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, yet these cells make up only 1 or 2 percent of the organ's total volume. The case of the disappearing pancreas remains unsolved for now.
Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, November 2012