From Ontario, Canada:
My daughter is 4 with type 1 diabetes. She just got a cold and has severe hives which cover much of her body, including her head, and it spreads wildly. This has happened before. We give her allergy medication, antihistamines, to try to control it. Is this because of her immune system attacking her tissues, similar to how her beta cells were destroyed? Will this get worse, or have you heard of similar cases with diabetics?
You are right in thinking that the hives are caused by an immune system reaction. Specifically an antigen which may be a food, a medicine, an inhalant or many other substances triggers the release of histamine from cells called mast cells: this in turn causes the rash and the pruritus.
This process is quite distinct from the slow autoimmune destruction of the beta cells, and the two are not in any way related. Indeed there was no account in the National Library of Medicine of any such link. Your daughter is being treated conventionally and the important next stage is with the help of your pediatrician to try to find out what it is that initiates these episodes of urticaria; in the last instance it might for instance have been some medicine given her for her cold.
Original posting 15 May 1999
Posted to Other Illnesses
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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