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Re: [IP] Heredity increasing odds of DM

One thing that's also related is *other* auto-
immune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, 
rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Having a first-degree 
relative (parent, sibling, or child) with any 
autoimmune disorder means an increased risk of 
getting any other autoimmune disorder, including 
type 1 diabetes. There's no history of diabetes 
*at all* in my family, but both my mother and 
my grandmother had Graves' disease, which is an 
autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid to 
become hyperactive.

To put the above in perspective: people with a family
history of autoimmune disorders have an increased risk
for developing one, BUT something like 75% of people 
with an autoimmune disorder have *no* history of these 
disorders in their family. In other words, in most
cases these things just pop out of the blue.

Autoimmune disorders are often misdiagnosed, so it's
also possible to have a family history of them with-
out knowing about it. I didn't find out until very 
recently that my mother and grandmother had Graves'
disease, even though I knew that they both had thyroid
problems. And, to add to the fun, there are some 
disorders that are thought to be autoimmune, but we
don't yet know for sure whether they are.

I guess this isn't very helpful, but I think it's

/Janet Lafler
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