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From Fernie, British Columbia, Canada:

What percentage of kids with diabetes are allergic to penicillin and had their reaction before they were diagnosed with diabetes? Could this possibly play a part in developing diabetes? I recall when my child had his allergic reaction, my pharmacist said that with further reactions to penicillin it would eventually cause organ damage or shut down. I know of a friend's daughter with type 1 who also is allergic to penicillin and had her reaction before the diabetes came along! What do you think?


There is a little information to suggest that people with underlying autoimmune conditions are especially susceptible to allergic reactions; but for the most part this doesn't apply to Type IA Diabetes and the evidence, in any case, is ambivalent. A much more likely explanation of your child's experience is that the stress of a penicillin reaction, rather like that of an intercurrent infection, is sufficient to hasten the last stages of autoimmune destruction of the islet cells and so to precipitate insulin dependance.


Original posting 15 Dec 2003
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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