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April 17, 2000


Question from Livonia, Michigan, USA:

My 10 year old daughter has had type 1 diabetes for 6 years and just been diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease. Is there any research done that shows that she will be more likely to come down with other complications as well?


It is now well understood that childhood type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune illness and thus it is relatively often associated with other organ-specific autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid diseases (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), duodenal mucosa atrophy secondary to gluten sensitivity (celiac disease), multiple sclerosis and others. The most common one is thyroid disease (one in ten diabetic children will eventually develop it) and celiac disease (one in fifty) whilst this risk is much lower for other disorders.