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May 9, 2002

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Phoenix, Arizona, USA:

My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 22 months, and we have no family background of diabetes, but my husband had used topical steroids for treatment of severe psoriasis. I just read that steroids can cause type 1 diabetes and that this medication can stay in the blood stream for one year. Can this medication pass through the sperm? Could it have caused our daughter's diabetes?

Answer:

There is no way to know for sure if your husband’s use of topical steroids caused or contributed to the pathogenesis and clinical development of your daughter’s diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder whose causes still are poorly understood. See What is Type 1 Diabetes? on this website.

MS

[Editor’s comment: I appreciate your concern, but I would like to state that I am unaware of any information to support the theory that topical steroids would cause diabetes through such a proposed mechanism.

WWQ]