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[IP] auto-immune and heredity (Betty)

Betty wrote:

My doctors feel like my diabetes (type 1) was caused by an attack on my 
immune system rather than hereditary.  (eleven brothers and sisters and none 
of them have it!)  This makes sense given the other auto-immune problems I 
have: hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.  Anyone else have a similar 
story?  I haven't met anyone.  

Hi Betty and all--

I have six "full" brothers and sisters and a "half" brother and a "half"
sister (just delineating to keep the genetic links straight!).  I was
diagnosed Type I as a child over thirty years ago, but none of them have
developed any form of diabetes yet.  We thought for a long time that my
diabetes wasn't hereditary because of all this--until my son developed
diabetes at age two, followed by three of my cousins' children (all on my
dad's side of the family) who were also diagnosed as Type I.  

One of my sisters has MS, and her daughter has thyroid problems.  I think
there are both genetic factors and "triggers" involved with these
auto-immune disorders.
Does anyone know if it is common for both MS and diabetes to affect a
family?  I've heard there may be a link, but have never investigated or
researched the question.  Just curious....

Doreen in wyoming 
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