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From Charleston, South Carolina, USA:

My 12 year old daughter, diagnosed in July 2003, has type 1. I am 34 and found out last week that I have hypothyroidism. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on and, so far, it seems to point to autoimmune disorders being related, kissing cousins, if you will. No one else in my family or husband's family has diabetes, but I've read that now my other four kids have a higher than average risk to develop it because a parent has a thyroid problem. Is this true or hogwash? If it is true, is there anything I can do to minimize that?


You are correct that thyroid disorders and type 1 diabetes are both autoimmune endocrine diseases and there is a higher chance that both can co-exist. One does not cause the other, but the genetic susceptibility sites are probably closely linked. We, and many others, routinely screen for thyroid and celiac disease in our patients with type 1 diabetes because we think that thyroid problems occur in about 20-40 percent and celiac disease in about 8 percent - very high risks. Early detection often means that the person or child then does not have to get more symptoms or signs/abnormalities and does not have to stop growing, have delayed puberty or other problems. Early treatment can also then be possible. This is somewhat controversial and not everyone does such screening. So, you should discuss this with your endocrinologist and then plan accordingly.


Original posting 8 Apr 2004
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


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