T1 Question

So, my whole life (since diagnosis) people have said that there is a high incidence of t1 diagnosis during the winter months because of association with flu virus.

They say that there is a known association that is not completely understood, but that flu often precedes T1 diagnosis and there is correlation between the two. Like, they think something in flu triggers T1.

Is this something that is widely known and accepted or am I coming out of left field?
Is that something that the rest of you hear commonly stated?

I ask because it colors my perception of covid. I think, “Sure, you get the flu, and then you wake up, and all your internal organs are destroyed - obvious - same old song and dance. Nothing weird about this covid-thing, its just like what happened to me.”

My whole life people have told me that I got the flu, and then simultaneously (and kinda as a result) got T1. That’s true, right?

I just want to consult the community because a bunch of Normals are telling me I’m crazy. I just thought that was something that was widely accepted. Am I off base?

Viral infections are one thing that is believed to trigger T1, along with genetics and environmental factors among other things. I have heard some medications also.

If you wish to back-up your claim, nothing is better than the JDRF as a source.


Ok, thank you, Gary. That’s very reassuring. The Normals are always trying to make me think I’m crazy.


My comeback to the normals would be, I have been diabetic for __ (fill in blank) number of years. I think that sorta kinda makes me the expert in the room, on what credentials do you base your opinion.

LOL, Embrace it, will be good cover if any bodies start showing up. :crazy_face:


I did not have the flu before I was diagnosed. I was diagnosed in the early Fall.

Lets do a small poll. I will have to sit this one out since I am type two.

Do you think your type one diabetes was triggered by a viral infection?
  • yes
  • no

0 voters

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Yes, I think a nasty bout of the flu followed by bronchitis triggered my type 1 diagnosis. Researchers who were looking into the tie to viral infections asked me about this when I ended up in the icu after diagnosis and the timeline was accurate for what they were researching.

I completely believe in the viral trigger thing, there’s been some pretty strong research evidence for it in recent years. It took them forever to figure out that I was actually sick, though. I think everyone just thought I was a tiny hypochondriac with a delicate stomach. I can’t really remember a time before diagnosis that I wasn’t sick, so I can’t remember or distinguish a trigger infection.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to see an increase in Type 1 diagnoses in the same season , though. Type one doesn’t just appear overnight. There’s usually a slow progression of developing symptoms before diagnosis, isn’t there? I wouldn’t really expect the new diagnoses to start rolling in until summertime.

i know for certain Disney World caused my diabetes.



Tell the truth Rick, wasn’t it the bottomless drink cup you bought while at Disney World.

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Oh my goodness Gary, My dad asked me about mid morning of the first day if i was writing a travel blog of where to pee and buy drinks at Disney World.

I still think Frontier Land had the best Men’s room at Disney and that young lady at the Tomorrow land quick counter was a real looker. I mean when i was not throwing up into the trash can.

As you might expect that can really throw off the mood.


The researchers I mentioned in my earlier comment were looking for serious viral infections 1-2 years before diagnosis.

From what I understand, you have a gene or possibly genes that make you susceptible to getting type 1. Then they think a virus or viruses can set it off. Also a possible connection to getting diabetes if you had have covid, that’s a little more muddy.

But I don’t think they know the whole story. Does it count if you have the virus 6 months before because it takes time??? Since viruses never leave the body, can you had had the virus just once in the past? They just don’t know yet.

The first year I woke up to a 115 in the morning, (I had a meter I would test off and on because of an uncle that had type 1) that year I had a cold at the beginning of the year, a few months later a dog had died, and then a few months later my mom died…I have always thought stress helped set it off, but I also had a cold at the beginning of the year.


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I believe it is largely, but not only or mainly, due to a Vitamin D deficiency.

The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been doubling every 20 years. In Finland, the recommendation for daily vitamin D supplementation was gradually reduced from 4000-5000 IU in 1964 to 400 IU in 1992. Concomitantly, T1D increased by 350% in those aged 1-4 years, 100% in those aged 5-9 years, and 50% in those aged 10-14 years [1]. However, since 2006, T1D has plateaued and decreased after an increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) after the authorities’ decision to fortify all dietary milk products with cholecalciferol [2]. Moreover, the worldwide association of ultraviolet (UV)-B light and vitamin D status with T1D and multiple sclerosis is now more than evident.

Source: https://www.jpmph.org/journal/view.php?number=1915

And …

And …

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I had a reactivation of ebv at the time of type 1 which happened in late spring. There were other factors I am sure, and I had obvious d symptoms for a long time before dka which should have been diagnosed. My whole body was inflamed in the two years before- I developed severe dry eye, and more, terrible reactions to foods, nightshades and more. I believed grains and gluten and chronic ibs played a role as well.

It is well known that viruses can play a role in type 1 and other autoimmune diseases. EBV is linked to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes & celiac as well as several cancers, mostly lymphomas. It is thought the virus turns on risk genes for various autoimmune diseases. A few months before my dka I was sick and went to doc, they tested me for lupus and a bunch of other stuff but not D.

I think most people have some hereditary autoimmune diseases in the family as well. Other members in mine had asthma, hashis, ra and graves.

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Diagnosed on November 29th 1991 JUST after recovering from the Flu in DKA, coma the whole nine yards. I think those of us who get type 1 after getting a virus are predisposed to autoimmune disorders but you have to get one of the bugs first to set off your immune system. There are many ways to set your immune system off but illness, stress, severe allergies, etc. can all do it.

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This might be old knowledge, but, from what I’ve read, T1 generally takes 2-3 years to develop, some less, some more, and does not become evident until about 75% of beta cell function is lost, making the idea that flu triggers T1 seems implausible at least as an immediate cause. As an idea, the flu relationship could be the other way around, in that a weakened immune state of impending T1 you are more likely to get the flu, or succumb to other mental or physical problems, or the the flu can be the proverbial ‘last straw’, not causing, but accelerating beta-cell decline.

The most recent autoimmune trigger I have read about is enterovirius, and I have long read about milk proteins - before my diagnosis, I was drinking up to a gallon a day - or even lowered helicobacter pylori infection rates - fighting it off could protect us against the autoantibody response - as well as a microbiome relationship.

A ‘soft’ article, a seemingly comprehensive discussion of causation:

Gut microflora:

Enterovirus and the gut:

Debates the validity of virus as causation:

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100% agree with JamesIgoe!

Imagine this: your immune system has been killing off your beta cells for the past years but you’ve been barely getting along with the reduced insulin production.

Then all of a sudden you get the flu and you now need twice as much insulin. And your pancreas cannot keep up at all. Whatever beta cells are left are pushed to their limit and beyond. Shortly afterwards (weeks) you in DKA and the doc in the ER puts you on insulin.

My theory is not that the flu caused an immune reaction that killed your beta cells and caused diabetes. My theory is that your body had been killing off beta cells for the past year, it’s just the flu brought it to the surface where it was easily diagnosed as DKA following the flu.


Worked for me. Nasty viral cold in late October, dx’d in mid-December. No suspicion of T1 whatsoever before that.

Of course sequence doesn’t prove causation, but anecdotally it fits the pattern.

ETA: @JamesIgoe’s scenario of immune-impaired pancreas first for a year or so, then accelerated by an anti-viral immune response seems plausible. I’ve certainly read a lot of people describing a slow-onset experience, especially adults, where they were logy, losing energy and weight, over a long period, approaching a year or more. That definitely doesn’t describe my experience, though. I was definitely not aware of any symptoms until after my cold that fall, and then they went from Geez, why do I feel like I have a hangover all the time to the whole peeing/thirst/nausea/screwed up eyesight stuff over just a few weeks,

I was sick for about 2 weeks. But, I was 11, so I don’t remember precisely. 2 weeks was WAY too long to get me to the hospital. I just barley pulled through. I’m pretty sure I was still in school throughout. But, I was severely ill. The teachers were calling my parents to tell them so. My parents were not very smart parents. They were good with plants. They probably should have just stuck to plants. Somehow, I lost 20 lbs and they didn’t seem to notice. :roll_eyes: So, I take their account with a grain of salt. But, they say I had the flu.

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