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From Ontario, Canada:

I have a five year old son who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. My question is about the likelihood that he will develop other autoimmune diseases given that there are other cases within the family. He has a paternal grandmother with celiac disease and multiple sclerosis and a maternal grandmother with hypothyroidism. What is the chance of him developing any one of these other autoimmune diseases later in his life? Did all these other cases of autoimmune diseases in the family increase his chances of having Type 1 diabetes? What about our other non-diabetic children? Are they at increased risk?


Yes, there is a relationship between the autoimmune diseases and once you have one there is a higher chance of another. However, the majority of patients have only one and 90% of newly presenting patients with Type 1 diabetes have no family history. Doctors looking after patients with diabetes are always on the lookout for other anomalies such as hypothyroidism and coeliac disease.


[Editor's comment: Many diabetes experts advise that people with Type 1 diabetes get a routine annual blood test to look for the possibility of hypothyroidism. It's easy to check for (with a blood test called TSH), easy to treat (with thyroid hormone), and can have the insidious development of annoying and sometimes disabling symptoms before the patient or parents eventually recognize that something's wrong and needs evaluation. WWQ]

Original posting 10 May 1998
Editor's comment added 18 May 1998
Posted to Other Illnesses


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