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From Oklahoma, USA:

I have a son that is going to be 3 years old. Recently he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My doctor advised me that it could of came from stress. Is that possible?


Stress does not actually 'cause' any of the many forms of diabetes; but by increasing blood sugar it may make increased demands on insulin producing cells and thus hasten the appearance of clinical diabetes in islets that are already compromised.

I would suggest that you talk to your son's doctor about what he/she means by Type 2 diabetes because there has been a significant increase in the understanding of this concept in the last few years. It is not that a specific diagnosis make any real difference to treatment; but that it may have some importance in genetic counselling.

To begin with, it is perhaps important to have an antibody test done just to make sure that your son is not one of those instances of Type 1A or autoimmune diabetes where the onset is very mild. If that test is negative then the diagnosis may be Type 1B diabetes which is antibody negative and occurs in less than 10% of Caucasian children in the U.S.; but in whom insulin dependance may disappear after a few weeks. There are also at least five types of MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young). These are genetically determined and are often associated with a strong family history; the commonest form (MODY2) is associated with a genetic deficiency in the enzyme hexokinase.

A third and very rare group which is often linked to deafness and other abnormalities is called mitochondrial diabetes and causes the problem by interfering with energy supply in the islet cells.


Original posting 15 Jan 1999
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms and Stress


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