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July 5, 1999

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Michigan, USA:

I am a diabetic, having been diagnosed with Type 1 at age 36. Diabetes has never run in my family, and all my doctors are confused that I got juvenile diabetes at age 36. Is it possible that I got diabetes from a drug I may have been given in the past, or stress I may have undergone?

Answer:

Type 1 Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease of autoimmune origin and you can read quite a few previous answers on this topic at this website.

To sum up, drugs as well as stress and a long list of others environmental factors (such as dietary factors and infectious agents as common viruses) are nowadays believed to act as precipitators upon an already ongoing slow process of immune destruction of the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, probably years or decades before. and initiated at the very beginning by a event amplified by a strong genetic susceptibility background.

To destroy most of the beta cells sometimes it takes only a short time (and then you can have type 1 diabetes in childhood), or the process may move slowly (and you can become diabetic at 36 or even older).

MS