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February 16, 2005

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Question from Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA:

My daughter went into a coma on August 9, 2003 and she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since this involves the immune system, could she have gotten the defect from her father's side of the family since her paternal grandmother has multiple sclerosis (MS)? Is she at greater risk to develop MS?

Answer:

There is only a minimal chance of your daughter with type 1 diabetes also developing MS. Both are autoimmune disorders, however. You should discuss these concerns directly with her diabetes team since they can give you the best advice about any other autoimmune problems associated with type 1 diabetes. The most common are thyroid problems and celiac disease, although there is also some increase in pernicious anemia and Addison’s. Both of these last two are much less common than thyroid and celiac.

SB