July 18, 2005
Question from Texas, USA:
I researched more than I ever thought I ever would with this condition since our son was diagnosed at age three. He is now about to be eight. How common is it that a type 1 diabetic child comes down with autoimmune von Willebrand’s disease? I understand that his diabetes is autoimmune in nature, but he came down with this about six to eight months after being diagnosed with diabetes. How often do you see this? He also now has asthma. The specialist said that the asthma could be related as well.
My son was in perfect health until the diabetes hit. So, will we run into more problems with his immune system? From what we have been told, most type 1s usually get celiac or thyroid, not many with the von Willebrand’s disease. I am just worried about him.
Our last visit with the endocrinologist was not real good. His A1c was good, but we are unable to use his arms now due to build-up of scar tissue and he wasn’t absorbing very well anymore from the arms. Are these other problems things you see commonly with type 1s?
As far as I know, there is no known increased association of asthma, allergic rhinitis or conjunctivitis or von Willebrand’s disease with type 1 diabetes. I also can tell you that in my large practice of several decades, that I do not see any such association either. The autoimmune disorders that are associated are likely closely linked to specific HLA markers and thus the commonality. You are correct: type 1 diabetes and thyroiditis of varying types is the most common, in the neighborhood of 20% in most studies. Then, celiac disease in the vicinity of 6 to 8% Then, less rare are Addison’s disease and pernicious anemia variants.