From Parris Island, South Carolina, USA:
My 5-year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two. My question is regarding his eight month old brother and the rumors I have heard regarding cows' milk and the increased incidence of Type 1 diabetes. The baby has been breastfed since birth with the addition of solid foods at six months. I am worried that if I stop breastfeeding him at nine months his chances for developing type 1 diabetes will increase. I have tried introducing soy formula, but he hates it! Do I stand anything to gain by breastfeeding as long as twelve months? I am getting a little tired of breastfeeding but won't stop if it will benefit him in the long run.
Whether or not early exposure to cow's milk increases the risk of developing diabetes is very controversial. We have discussed this in previous questions. Theoretically, soy based formula has as much risk as cow's milk (if the risk is real). Breastfeeding through the first year of life has many benefits including decreasing the risk of food allergy. The biggest theoretical risk of exposure to cows' milk is probably in the first 6 months of life. If you are willing to spend the extra money and avoid cow's milk until 1 year of life, you can try and see if he will take Nutramigen, an elemental formula in which the cow's milk protein has been hydrolyzed.
Original posting 27 Jul 1998
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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