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From New Orleans, Louisiana, USA:

I am 21 years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost six years ago. I am in nursing and understand the premise of antibodies attacking the pancreas and killing the beta cells and so on. Well, my dad just told me today that when he was a child he had severe nephritis and almost died. Now, he is having problems with edema and his doctor said that this is a result of antibodies attacking or clogging the kidney. Is there any relationship, by means of our genetic makeup, that would cause my immune system to attack my pancreas and his to make antibodies causing problems with his kidneys? I asked my endocrinologist and his was response was anything is possible. Please let me know your take on this when you get a chance and I am still trying to find more information on nephritis and it's role with the immune system.


I would say this is not a well recognized relationship. Many kidney problems are mediated by antibodies. The most common in childhood is post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. However, infection with this is not thought to target the pancreas for destruction. I know this is not a lot more than you got from your endocrinologist, but I do not see this as being a likely interaction.


Original posting 28 Aug 2004
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