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March 14, 2017

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Wilmington, Delaware, USA:

I have one child who has type 1 diabetes with positive GAD. Her sister has Juvenille Idiopathic Arthritis and Ehler-Danlos (diagnosed several years before her sister with type 1 diabetes). I have PCOS and their father has hemochromatosis. Should I have my daughter’s rheumatologist test for GAD presence in my other child? Is there any higher risk that she will also develop type 1 diabetes?


The risks for a second child to have autoimmune type 1 diabetes is higher than if there were no siblings with type 1 diabetes but the arthritis diagnosis, while an autoimmune disorder, does not add a lot more risk. Autoimmune thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism add some risks as does celiac disease and Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency). The hemochromatosis and the PCOS also don’t add a lot more type 1 diabetes risks as well. So, while it wouldn’t be harmful to check for diabetes related antibodies, the overall risks are lower rather than higher.


[Editor’s comment:

You may wish to consider having your daughter’s antibodies tested through TrialNet.