From Pennsylvania, USA:
My thirteen year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two months ago. My mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 10 years ago. I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 1 year ago, and about 2 years ago was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I know these are all immune system issues. Is there any relationship between all of these diagnosis?
Your son's Type 1 diabetes is almost certainly an autoimmune problem and this diagnosis would have been confirmed if he had had a positive antibody test. Type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune condition, however. The combination of hypothyroidism and celiac disease in yourself is also suggestive (but not proof) of an autoimmune disorder in a second member of the family. However, it would need a positive anti-transglutaminase antibody test to be sure of this in the case of the celiac disease and in theory an anti-thyroid antibody test as well, though this is almost never done because of the expense and the much simpler alternatives.
Certainly, however, in the last few years it has come to be recognised that autoimmune conditions are often grouped together in one person or found separately in different members of the same family and this has come to be called the Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome. If you would like to explore this further and can withstand some technical language you might like to look at http://www.uchsc.edu/misc/diabetes/oxch8.html.
Original posting 23 Jun 1999
Posted to Other Illnesses
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:03
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