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From New Zealand:

Could there be any connection between Type 1a IDDM and autoimmune sensorineural hearing loss? A half a dozen members of my extended family have the hearing loss and there have been just as many type 1 diabetics (myself included) too. There are several other autoimmune conditions in my family too, in fact over half of the family have at least one of them. I have both the hearing loss and type 1 diabetes. I know of at least one other family locally with a similar cluster of diseases, including type 1 diabetes, and the same form of hearing loss. Is this just bad luck in the genetic lottery, or could there be a link, albeit an uncommon one, as with many other autoimmune conditions? Could diabetes also affect the degree/progression of hearing loss, since there is nerve damage involved?

Also, do you know of any blood glucose meters that either vibrate or flash instead of beeping alarms, or if there are any plans to make GlucoWatch type products with a vibrate feature? This would be great for both those wanting discretion, and the large portion of people who have some degree of hearing loss/deafness. I know pumps already have this option, which is great, but is anyone else responding to this need?


Regarding your familial history of diabetes, there is a form of diabetes that results in a form of type 2 diabetes resulting in abnormalities of insulin secretion. This rare cause of diabetes is associated with deafness, maternal transmission, and other neurological symptoms. It is very unusual because it results from mutations in the DNA in mitochondria. It could also be that you have a form of deafness that also has a genetic basis and is not related to diabetes. You are correct to note that autoimmune diseases tend to cluster together. If you have type 1 diabetes, the mitochondrial form of diabetes may not be correct. It might be helpful to speak with a diabetes specialist who could look into having you screened for this.

With regard to the meters, I do not know of any other meters that have the feature of a buzzing or flashing display. Theoretically, you should be able to see the number of the display. Several insulin pumps now commercially available have buzzers with them to alert people when a malfunction occurs. Since some of the pumps will also be tied to meters, these could possibly set to buzz with a low level. However, no mainstream products have this feature.


Original posting 2 Dec 2003
Posted to Other Illnesses and Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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