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From St. Louis, Missouri, USA:

Sixteen years ago, my son, then aged 3 1/2, was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. I had seen a news item that said research was being done that indicated that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacterium or virus, not by stress or bad diet, but the pediatrician ignored me and prescribed the standard treatment for an ulcer.

Four years ago, my son, aged 15 1/2, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. By then, of course, the research by Barry Marshall and others, demonstrating that stomach ulcers are caused by Heliobactor Pylori, was well established. I asked a doctor to test my son for Heliobactor Pylori, and it was found to be present. He was treated for it.

Is there any research being done to see if Heliobactor Pylori, which can cause a stomach ulcer (and stomach cancer, etc.), plays any role in diabetes?


Your question is a very interesting one because there has been quite a lot of recent research, especially in France, on the role of H.Pylori in children with diabetes. Most of it has been to try to link gastrointestinal symptoms to the presence of H.Pylori. The results of these studies have been equivocal with on balance some support for the link. More interestingly has been the association of 'parietal cell antibodies' with Type 1 Diabetes as well as with gastrointestinal symptoms and the presence of H.Pylori. The suggestion has been made that the presence of these antibodies is analogous to the finding of anti-transglutaminase antibodies and anti 21-hydroxylase antibodies in some cases of Type 1 Diabetes in addition to the more conventional antibodies that relate to islet cell function.

In other words, there seems to be a possibility that your son's peptic ulcer was the first manifestation of the abnormality in the autoimmune system that finally showed itself as insulin dependant diabetes.


Original posting 18 Apr 1998
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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