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Question:

From New York, USA:

My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on her second birthday. She just turned three today. My question is actually about my newborn daughter (5 months). What can I do to possibly prevent it from "triggering" again? Should I alter her vaccine dates? My local hospitals will not test her for the antibody at this age. I will do anything to prevent this again! I really want some preventative advice. What would you do?

Answer:

At this point there is little to do for a 5 month old to prevent diabetes. She is too young to participate in the prevention trials. These are still experimental and even if she were old enough, 3 or 4, and tested to be high risk she might not receive treatment with insulin as only half of the susceptible individuals are treated and the other half are observed. This is the only way to prove if the treatment actually works.

Although there has been recent publicity about a possible association of the timing of vaccines and risk of diabetes, this is highly controversial and at the present time no changes in vaccine schedule are recommended. Studies are going on to see if avoidance of cow's milk in the first year of life may decrease the risk, but again this is not proven and it is too late to avoid cow's milk if your child has already been exposed.

At the present time, I would try to reassure yourself that the risk of your newborn developing diabetes is only about 3 - 5 % (the majority of siblings of children with diabetes do not develop diabetes). Of course it would be better if the risk were 0%, but until we find a definite preventive therapy, it is better to be optimistic about both of your children's futures and enjoy them both. Both of them can have very happy, healthy lives whether or not they have diabetes and hopefully we will have a cure soon.

TGL

Original posting 10 Apr 1998
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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