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From Florida, USA:

Can someone please help me to understand how both of my children, ages seven and nine, have type 1 diabetes, where there is no blood history on either side of our families? Did I do something wrong? Are their immunizations to blame? There are a plethora of possibilities floating around in theory, but nothing concrete. Will we not be able to put this behind us with some understanding as to how type 1 develops?


You ask good questions but, we still do not have sufficient research to answer them specifically and definitively. However, we understand that type 1 diabetes is a genetically predisposed disorder that then must be "triggered" by something in the environment - chemicals, viruses, cow milk proteins, wheat, etc. Why this would happening to two children in one family is not well known, but all of us who have large practices have seen this. Usually, it indicates a stronger genetic susceptibility, probably HLA genes from both sides of the family that interplay one with the other. So, there is not much you can be guilty about since none of us control which genes we randomly pass to our children. There is no evidence for any immunizations involved, although this was a popular theory for a while. The latest research rejects this rather well. Rising levels of obesity, even in children, is another factor that is currently being researched, but still would require the genetic susceptibility to already be there as well as the other environmental factors to which all of us are exposed all the time.

There is an excellent chapter in my own textbook that may be available via interlibrary loan in your town or via Amazon, etc. Also, Dr. Hanas has excellent chapter in Insulin-Dependent Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Adults, which is available via this web site or other book stores, etc. JDRF has periodic review in Countdown that summarizes a lot of this current research thinking as well. Hope this is helpful and you can move on.


Original posting 29 Jan 2006
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:06
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