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From East Java, Indonesia:

My four year old nephew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last week. His paternal grandfather had diabetes. Since we have to wait for the blood sample result for one month (it's sent to the U.S. for complete diagnosis), we really want to ask you some questions that bother us and the local doctors could not give us the answers.

Is there any possibility that my nephew got this type 1 diabetes from a viral infection? Last year, everything was fine and he had no symptoms of type 1 diabetes until two weeks ago. If it's because of the genetic problem, why did the symptoms start at age four and not when he was a newborn or a toddler? If my nephew's immune system is not very good, is there any possibility that the viral infection could be from immunizations? He has already gotten shots for rubella, typhus, influenza and more. Our common thought is like this: since the vaccine itself contains "weak viruses," if the body's immune system is not very good, could these "weak viruses" attack some organs or somehow cause type 1 diabetes?


Nobody really knows why diabetes occurs. But, with children, we think that there is a genetic predisposition and then something in the environment, common viruses or foods like wheat/gluten that damage the pancreas. We do know that this is not preventable although there is a lot of research looking for a way to prevent type 1 diabetes. We also know that it is not caused by any immunizations or vaccinations (mumps, measles, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, etc.). You might want to get a great teaching manual, Insulin-Dependent Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Adults by Ragnar Hanas, M.D.


Original posting 9 Oct 2006
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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