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From Belleville, Ontario, Canada:

My nine year old son has had diabetes since the age of three, I have just been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease (which my mother also has), and I read in a recent question on this website that there may be a relationship between the two diseases, as both are believed to be autoimmune disorders.Can you verify this? If so, how are the two related? Until now, we were at a loss to explain how my son developed the diabetes, and I'm concerned that genetically the predisposition may have come from me.


Crohn's disease, as you say, along with ulcerative colitis has come to be thought of as an autoimmune disorder. However, It is not a condition that is grouped with type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes in the Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome although celiac disease is.

In a recent NIH study which included detailed HLA typing, there seemed to be some evidence for a tentative, and so far unclear, genetic relationship between these two very different autoimmune syndromes. See Becker KG Comparative genetics of type 1 diabetes and autoimmune disease: common loci, common pathways? Diabetes 1999 Jul;48(7):1353-8.

In the meantime, I think it would be a mistake for you to feel that you were in some way responsible for your son's diabetes. Even if you had it yourself, his chances of getting it would have been less than 5%.


Original posting 5 Dec 2001
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


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