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June 4, 2000

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Question from Boulder, Colorado, USA:

A twenty-year-old relative suffered severe blunt force trauma to his pancreas and spleen in an automobile accident and had to have his spleen and a large part of his pancreas removed. Immediately afterwards he developed type 1 diabetes with no prior history in him or his family. Could the accident have caused the diabetes and do you know of any articles or experts we can talk to about trauma-induced diabetes?

Answer:

It’s likely that the removal of the pancreas left an inadequate reserve of beta cells. This isn’t truly Type�1 (autoimmune) diabetes.

LD