October 18, 2012

DAISY Study identifies a trigger for Type 1 Diabetes

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The current issue of Diabetes Care published the results of a study investigating the association of reported infancy illness and later development of islet autoimmunity (IA), a contributing factor in Type 1 diabetes.

The incidence of Type 1 diabetes is increasing worldwide. Although childhood infections are considered a possible trigger of Type 1 diabetes, improved hygiene could be a viable reason for the increase in developed countries.  The documentary BABIES is a good reference supporting this nature vs. nurture argument.

In the study, 1,729 children, 9 months of age, were interviewed for their illness records. Of the children, 1,174 did not have a family history of Type 1 diabetes, and 555 children had a first-degree relative with Type 1diabetes. There were 109 children with persistent IA among the 1,729 children.

A greater number of gastrointestinal illnesses were associated with an increased risk of IA, but only among children who were exposed to grains containing gluten.

The biggest contributing factor to agitating existing IA is gluten-containing grains (wheat or barley). The results of the DAISY study resonate with me because of the pleasure I had in speaking with Jewels Doskicz, author of the She Sugar blog.  Research confirms that there is a genetic link between Type I diabetes and Celiac Disease. In fact, the instance of Celiac Disease among people with T1D is 1:10.

In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “Information is not knowledge”. He concedes that “the only source of knowledge is experience.” Step 1: check for insulin antibodies (IA). If the IA results are positive proceed to Step 2, which is: steer clear of gluten-containing grains.

Visit Your Diabetes Health for more resources about health.