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From San Francisco, California, USA:

My three year old daughter was diagnosed about two months ago. I have just heard the phrase steroid-induced diabetes, and about five months before her diagnosis, I took a short course of prednisone for severe inflammation. My memory is that my daughter had finished nursing by then, and I can't imagine that I would have nursed while I was taking the medication, but I might have after the five-day period of the medication. Is it possible, if I did nurse her, that there was still enough prednisone in my body to cause my three year old daughter's diabetes? If her diabetes is steroid-induced, how or does it differentiate from type 1?


It is exceedingly unlikely that your short course of steroids had anything whatever to do with the onset of your daughter's diabetes. In fact, she almost certainly has type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes which is a disorder of the immune system. If you ask her doctor, I think that you will find that this was confirmed by a positive antibody test at the time of diagnosis.

Steroids mobilise glucose in the blood from stored glycogen and from protein. They do not interfere with insulin production, rather they stress the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas through an increased demand for insulin to meet the increase in blood glucose production.


Original posting 11 Nov 2002
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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