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Question:

From Washington, USA:

I recently tested positive for GAD antibodies. I am 32 years old, am basically in good health, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and 150 pounds. I was tested because my five year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a year ago and I was participating in the diabetes SEARCH (SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth) research study.

The nurse told me I am too old to get type 1 diabetes and that, perhaps, when I was younger, my body started the destructive process associated with type 1 diabetes, but stopped for some reason. Do you agree? Should I consider myself not at greater risk for getting type 1 diabetes?

Answer:

In addition to the antibody test, you were probably tested to determine that you have a normal response to a glucose challenge and do not have diabetes. There are several studies currently going on where there is an attempt to find people at risk of developing diabetes. The purpose being to intervene with treatments that may delay or prevent diabetes from occurring. The reason you were told that it is unlikely that you will develop diabetes is that it is thought that the process of developing diabetes evolves over years. Provocative tests are able to bring out abnormalities that mark you as beginning to develop diabetes. If no responses were found, you are unlikely to develop diabetes in the near future. The older you get, the less likely you are to develop the full blown expression of the disease. It gets back to the idea that developing diabetes requires a genetic component and an environmental component. You may have had environmental exposure, but the exposure was not successful in inducing the beta cell destruction. In other words, the immune system was held in check. I would say it is not totally out of the question, but it is a statistical relationship. The longer you go, the less likely the outcome of developing type 1 diabetes.

JTL

DTQ-20051020000049
Original posting 2 Nov 2005
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention and Other

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:04
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