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January 29, 2006

Genetics and Heredity, Other

Question from Burlington, Ontario, Canada:

My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year at the age of 20 months. My husband has ulcerative colitis, another autoimmune disease. Knowing that type 1 diabetes in an autoimmune disorder what are our chances of having another child with diabetes or another autoimmune disorder?


From: DTeam Staff

Ulcerative colitis and type 1 diabetes, while both autoimmunopathies, usually do not increase the risk of one of the other in the same patient. Type 1 diabetes’ other autoimmune disorders include thyroid problems (about 20 to 40% with positive antibodies and about 10 to 20% with thyroid function abnormalities that need treatment), celiac disease (about 5 to 8%) and then, more rarely, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Many other autoimmune disorders are not more likely in association with type 1 diabetes, so, probably there is some genetic overlapping.