*****FROM ABC NEWS MEDICAL UNIT*****
Hi kigrsoavjo and thank you for your question. Here's an answer from Samuel L. Friedlander, M.D., Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University Hospitals, Cleveland:
Patients often question whether 2 conditions are related to each other. This is certainly a good question and often two medical diagnoses can be related to each other and this concern may be a result of the timing of the two events. For instance, a patient may gain weight and then present with obstructive sleep apnea. Likely the increased weight is causing or worsening the airway obstruction. At other times, the genetics are such that 2 conditions may occur together, even if they are not necessarily related. An example is a child that has both eczema and asthma. Although these conditions are often found together in a single patient, the eczema is not causing the asthma. The genes that cause eczema travel with the genes that cause asthma. To confuse matters more, a third factor can play a role such that an allergy could worsen both eczema and asthma thus tying the two conditions together!
This 16 year-old with diabetes type I has a history of positive allergy testing. I would need to better understand why the test was performed and what the specific results were. Also, does she have any allergic problems such as nasal or eye allergies, sinus problems, food allergies, or asthma?
However, there is no connection between these two medical conditions. Unfortunately, for no fault of the child or parent, she just has both conditions.
The two points that bear relevance with this questions is a) why is a particular test being ordered and how will the results change management decisions; and b) two conditions can occur independently of each other, one may cause the other, or a third factor may be causing both.
Thank you for this question.
Hi kigrsoavjo. Here is another answer to your question from Melvin Berger, M.D., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Case Western Reserve University:
It is extremely unlikely that the allergies in any way caused the diabetes. However, both conditions are altered forms of immunologic reactions, and it is not impossible that autoimmune disease (like diabetes) and allergies are both linked to disordered regulation of immune responses. I would certainly be wary of othyer immunologic endocrine disorders sunch as hypothyroidism or hypo-parasthyroidism, and would track her growth and development carefully.
As a separate question out of my own curiosity- have you had problems with thrush or fungal infections ?