Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Black Diamond, Washington, USA:

Three days ago, my five year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and we have four very close friends with kids his age that also have it. The doctors think it is a blessing when they walk into the room and my five year old is comparing his meter with his buddies or is showing him the benefits of the automatic injector while my wife argues for the pump. A two and a half year old just pulls up his shirt to show my son his favorite injection spot!

I am learning that people may be born with a genetic predisposition to diabetes, and we will be having our two year old daughter tested to see if she has it. If this is a predisposition, what is the catalyst for developing diabetes?

Any information would be helpful. We are still lost and overwhelmed with all the information and very perplexed by five kids living within five miles having type 1 diabetes.


Rather a potpourri of questions, and I'm sure you have a hundred more. At this stage, I think you would find it a big help to read one of the good manuals listed at this site. See Books for Parents, Adults and Older Kids.

Your little daughter has only about a 5% chance of developing type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes before she is 20, assuming that an antibody test has shown that this is what your son has. It is, by far, the most likely form of diabetes at his age in Caucasian children.The actual mechanism is really rather complicated and depends on the activation of a certain group of white blood cells to produce 'cytokines' that very slowly target and destroy the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. There is an inherited component to this which governs the shape of certain HLA proteins on the surface of cells and an environmental one which is not yet understood, although some cow's milk proteins may be involved.

Having four friends who also have young children with diabetes is almost certainly just a statistical happenstance, and whilst this is great for companionship, I think you should follow the advice of your son's diabetes team as you gradually become expert in managing this problem.


Original posting 6 May 2002
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.