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May 13, 2010

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from York, South Carolina, USA:

We have four children. Our youngest son, age 11, was diagnosed with type 1 in January 2010. Our oldest son, age 17, was diagnosed today. What are the chances of that happening? Our 11-year-old was very healthy but, looking back, he was showing symptoms for about a month beforehand. Our oldest had a well physical two weeks ago and was very healthy! The ONLY thing different is that he had the Menactra vaccine two weeks ago and had a bad reaction from it (fever, chills, shakes, and vomiting). Any correlation?


There is no correlation with any immunizations whatsoever with extensive studies done at several centers over many years. However, with an assumption that having been diagnosed that he has some genetic predisposition, any infection or virus could be what makes the pancreas finally give out and, thus, high sugars show up. The odds of a second child having diabetes are in the neighborhood of 1:50. It might be worthwhile to have your other children checked out for pancreatic autoantibodies by your diabetes team to see if they also are at risk.


[Editor’s comment:

You may wish to have your children tested through TrialNet, “an international network of researchers who are exploring ways to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes.”