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June 20, 2002

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Peoria, Arizona, USA:

My daughter began in the DPT-1 when she was four years old at which time she tested positive for the antibodies and went on to the next step. During the first GTT, she complained of a headache and lower, side, and back pain. We pulled her from the study because the blood was lost and thawed by the time it reached its destination. After further thought, I didn't want to subject her to the whole ordeal again. However, I began to wonder if this trauma to the pancreas (the GTT) might be doing more harm than good. Could this have played a part in her development of diabetes five years later?

Answer:

The fact of positive antibody tests at the age of four meant that your daughter was at very high risk of developing clinical diabetes within five years. A glucose tolerance test in the final stages of the prediabetic period might perhaps have been a sufficient stress to precipitate the need for insulin, but there is absolutely no evidence that it could do this after an interval of five years nor is there evidence that a glucose load is traumatic to the pancreas.

DOB