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August 15, 2002


Question from New York, USA:

I read recently that one in 10 people with type 1 diabetes will develop autoimmune thyroid problems. Are there routine tests that can be administered periodically or ways to establish any predisposition to this condition?


From: DTeam Staff

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, as are certain thyroid conditions, lupus, certain adrenal diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, vitamin B12 deficiency, vitiligo, and others. Someone with one autoimmune issue is at risk for others. Various sources indicate up to 20% of people with type 1 diabetes will develop thyroid disease (that’s 1 in 5).

These various conditions are actually rather easy to screen for with certain blood tests. Your daughter’s diabetes team can guide you as to how and when to address these questions.

Additional comments from Dr. John Schulga:Hypothyroidism is not that high in children with type 1 diabetes. It is more like 2 to 4% and can be tested by measuring the thyroid levels in the blood.