Viral causes of Type 1 diabetes

Now is this spooky, a coincidence, huge bad luck or actually interesting from a medical perspective? I was diagnosed in December last year with type 1, sudden onset, at the grand old age of 48 and told that a virus probably triggered an inherited predisposition to diabetes.Two months, later, my previously strong, healthy and very fit husband discovered that he has severe heart failure, cardiomyopathy, probably triggered by a virus. With hindsight, he had started noticing breathing/heart problems about the same time I was diagnosed. In both diabetes and cardiomyopathy, my understanding is that it is Cocksackie B virus which is the most likely trigger. They say that lightening doesn't strike twice, but 12 months ago, both my husband and I has no health issues whatsoever and now we are on first name terms with the pharmacist in our village!

Sorry for you but also interesting

I have seen a lot of places that cite viral infections as a "trigger" of t1 diabetes rather than a "cause" — the idea being that a predisposition for autoimmunity already existed but that the virus somehow sent the T-cells into hyperdrive and put them into "attack the pancreas" mode. It fits my experience — I have a lot of autoimmune diseases in my family (mostly RA and Hashimoto's) but until Eric was diagnosed, never was there any T1DM. He had a series of viral infections, one after another after another, the summer before his diagnosis. At a guess, I'd say his diabetes symptoms started in September (he was Dx'd in early October) but that the viruses that preceded it had begun in June, right about the time he started at a new daycare.

Very interesting.

Years ago my sister was diagnosed (finally after years of misdiagnoses) with a rare autoimmune disease. So rare, in fact, it does not have a name...they call it "An Orphan Of A Rare HLA-B27 Spondyloarthropathy".

She's suffered through dozens of orthopedic surgeries. Taken every medication imaginable, even chemotherapy. Very little, if any, of her treatment is covered by insurance because it is so rare EVERYTHING is considered experimental.

Why did it happen? An, as yet, unidentified bacteria 'activated' a latent HLA-B27 antigen and her condition developed. Her doctors suggested her siblings get tested because we are a higher rick for similar disease process.

My other sister (who is pretty healthy) tested positive for the HLA-B27 antigen and so did I. I never really though too much about it in relation to my own problems because her disease attacks all the soft tissue and cartilage, causing severe inflammation, pain and damage to the linings of joints, tendons, ligaments, meniscus, cartilage, intestines and eyes.

Well low and behold, when I was doing research recently, I found very strong correlations between HLA and Type 1 Diabetes and some possible correlations with early onset coronary artery disease and hyperlipidemia. All of which I just happen to suffer from.

I suppose it's quite possible that the same bacteria attacked us 25 years ago and set off a certain genetically predisposed sequence of events, with HLA-B27 being the transport, different for each of us.

Diabetes is unknown in my family as far back as we know (four generations) and we are unaware of any other auto-immune manifestations.

I'm not a big believer in coincidence.

I was diagnosed in December last year with type 1, sudden onset, at the grand old age of 48 and told that a virus probably triggered an inherited predisposition to diabetes.

Told the same thing at age 27. After a variation of strept. So sick, slept on the bathroom floor. Things went south after that.

Recently I have been gathering all my medical records. So far I've got most, but still waiting on the military medical records. One of the key records I was interested in was the day I was first diagnosed with diabetes. Looking at that records has been very interesting. The prognoses that day is very interesting. ANA was high on a borderline of 8, Spleen size was above normal, A1C was 13.4% Blood sugar was 333. Glucose in urine was above 1000,and positive with ketones, white count 10.94. Also noted was that I had yellowing in my eyes, jaundice and conjunctivitis.

Researching the cause for jaundice I stumbled across a possible connection of the dots to why I had diabetes. One of the causes is malaria. I spent some time in the country of Panama while I was in the military. On my first trip down, we were giving malaria pills. A year later I had to go back. Because of the close time frame I wasn't issued malaria pills for this second and longer duration trip. So, I do wonder if I did contract malaria, but the pill did its job by keeping the malaria virus dormant for some time. It was a good 10 years before I was diagnosed with diabetes. This would be a good question for me to ask my doctor.

I was diagnosed with Diabetes late October 2008 after a mild head cold. The head cold symptoms started on 13th September and only lasted for two days but after that I did not feel 100% (felt lethargic and still had a cough that I could not get rid of). At the time I was planting cane and spent a couple of days in bed during the first days of October with some tropical virus. By mid October I had no energy and at times, making simple decisions was difficult. A BGL read of over 27 (490+) saw me hospitalized but I was diagnosed with Type 2. I was correctly diagnosed by my Endocrinologist as LADA in February 2009 but quickly progressed to Brittle Type 1.
Tests requested by my Endocrinologist, showed my GAD and IA2 antibodies were so high that they could not be recorded by the standard tests and came back as greater then results. I knew that I had extremely high antibodies for a long time but over 20 years ago, my doctor did not know what they meant. My test for GAD antibodies stated that 90% of people who suffer form SPS (stiff person syndrome) have high GAD antibodies. I know my body is not very flexible and I suffer from lower back pain so I am not surprised about the high GAD antibodies.
I suspect that the head cold was the trigger that started my progression to Type 1 but why I progressed very quickly to Brittle Type 1 is a different story.
For me, before I started injecting insulin, I was prescribed all the oral medication but nothing worked and it was not until late April 2009 before I started injecting insulin.
Pre injecting insulin, I found that if I had breakfast and allowed my BGL to go above 18mmol/L, then start work, BGL would start to fall. I would have good control all day if levels did not fall below 5.3mmol/L. If I started work soon after breakfast, BGL would stay high (8-12mmol/L) and I would not eat until levels fell below 6mmol/L. This meant at times, even although I was working physically hard, it could be over 4hours before I ate. These early days, I found very frustrating and I even ate over 40grm of carbs on a rising BGL after dinner only to find BGL to peak at 18mmol/L. Within 10 minutes of eating the extra carbs, BGL had started to fall. I was trying to be admitted into hospital so that I could start on insulin but it didn’t work as levels fell quickly to below 12mmol/L and slowly fell from there.
From my research into Type 1 diabetes, I know that the hormone Amylin which is also produced by the β- cells in the pancreas is a regulatory hormone, preventing spikes in blood glucose levels. It is only produced in small amounts with the insulin amylin ratio being about 100:1. Although amylin was discovered about 100 years ago, it is only recently that research has been done into its importance. I do suspect that the high BGL which had to be reached before I would see normal BGL, contributed to my fast progression to Brittle Type 1.
For me at least, I know exactly when my symptoms started but why I progressed quickly to Type1 at the age of 56 and not previously as a child, I have not got a clue. My son was not as fortunate, diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 13, 12 years prior to my diagnoses. Both on my side and my wife’s side of our families, there has been no history of Type 1 or 2 Diabetes. It just goes to show that you can be lucky or draw the short straw when it comes to Type 1 Diabetes.

Has anyone heard anything about general anesthesia triggering Type 1? My daughter had major orthopedic surgery on both of her femurs on December 18, 2013 and was diagnosed on January 24, 2014.

I have Dilated Cardiomyopathy caused by a virus, and now have adult onset type 1 diabetes. I never connected the two illnesses, but now I'm thinking maybe there is something to it...

Hi all I'm a newbie here. Both my older brother and I were diagnosed T1 at the age of 24, myself 5 years after he was. No history of T1 in the family whatsoever but we both had been really ill earlier in the year that we were diagnosed...I had bacterial pneumonia.
I have no doubt there is something that made the "switch" turn to the "on" position with us during our illness. It was definitely a trigger.

From the ADA:

A significant number of viruses have been associated with type 1 diabetes, including enteroviruses such as Coxsackievirus B (CVB) (4), but also rotavirus (5,6), mumps virus (7), and cytomegalovirus (8). Rubella virus has been suggested to cause type 1 diabetes, but so far only congenital rubella syndrome has conclusively been associated with the disease (9–11). The prime viral candidates for causing type 1 diabetes in humans are enteroviruses. Enterovirus infections are more frequent in siblings developing type 1 diabetes compared with nondiabetic siblings, and enterovirus antibodies are elevated in pregnant mothers whose children later develop type 1 diabetes (12).

So yes it is a trigger but as the study shows it's one of the wondrous mix of things which come together to clobber us. Basically an environmental (some studies are looking at pollen and others at animal disease fluctuations at different times of the year), viral and genetic. There is an ongoing Australian study I annoyingly can't find the link for looking into the auto immune responders and linking in a few more than the ones listed in this article, but the link is well worth a good read anyhow on these things: