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Question:

From America OnLine:

I am looking for information regarding the link between possible thyroid problems (e.g., elevated results in thyroid antibody blood test) and Type 1 diabetes.

Answer:

Type 1 diabetes is one of a group of diseases called autoimmune diseases. In these conditions, the body's immune system for some reason (not understood) attacks parts of the body rather than continuing to recognise them as self. In the same way as germs in the blood would be destroyed, this process kills the cells being attacked. In diabetes the beta cells in the pancreatic islets (that make insulin) are destroyed while all the other pancreas cells are left undamaged.

Once one autoimmune disease is diagnosed the risk of another one is greater and the most common association is with thyroid disease, which may require thyroxine tablet replacement therapy. There are other autoimmune diseases which can affect other organs, such as glands called the adrenal glands (just above the kidneys) which make steroid hormones. Your Diabetes Team will know all about these rarer conditions and will do the appropriate tests if any signs or symptoms appear.

KJR

Original posting 16 Jun 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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