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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?


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.


[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.