Type 1 is Contagious?

Okay, we are told that T1D is not believed to be contagious. However, I’d like to hear your story about how your family is/was connected to T1D. For example, before my child was even born, our cat had diabetes and a co-worker in my office had a child with T1D. My daughter was then diagnosed, followed by another co-worker’s child and then an adult diagnosed as well. Coincidence? That’s four people all somehow connected to T1D who literally worked within 100 feet of each other in the office. T1D is statistically very rare as we know. The more I tell my story, the more I hear from other families of similar weird stories. Please think about your T1D “Cluster” (connections to T1D before and after diagnosis) and let’s see if we can find a trend.

no connection, anywhere. I was the only one in my immediate family, my grammar and high school so there was no cluster of any kind.

I get it - I guess we all need to understand a reason, and I think it’s important, a definite correlation would lead to a cure, but I think you will find many outliers with a T1N based survey, and don’t let me discourage you.

if you believe that it is an autoimmune disease, then what we call t1d might be a symptom, like an allergy. the symptom isn’t contagious, but perhaps the illness that caused the autoimmune upset was. I believe that you need to have a genetic susceptibility AND some kind of catalyst like a flu virus to get the ball rolling, but what the heck do i know =)

anyway good luck.

I’m the only one in my family to have type 1 diabetes and my son is not diabetic.

Like Joe said, I think there might be something to the autoimmune angle. My mom has an autoimmune disease called ulcerative colitis.

Another factor is that type 1 is more prevalent in certain ethnic groups (causasians) and geographic regions (Northern Europe, Canada, Northern US). So if you and the people you live and work are in those groups, you increase your odds of meeting others with it.

The biggest factor with statistical accuracy vs. perception is usually awareness. Have you ever bought a new car and then suddenly seen that make and model everywhere you look, even though you never noticed it before? My mom-in-law said she’d never thought much about breast cancer or known many people with it until when she developed it, then it seemed like everyone she knew came to her telling her about their own experience as breast cancer survivors. Because we all live, breathe and sleep diabetes, we are very aware of it and see more significance in the numbers. As a person with diabetes, you are also the one others come to if they know someone who is newly diagnosed or if they have any diabetes questions, so it can affect our sense of how many people are dealing with diabetes.

If you really think there’s an issue, get the county health department numbers of type 1 diagnoses for your area and see if they are statistically average. My guess is, they probably are for your region.

It can also be from past vaccinations.

My wife’s side of the family has been riddled with T1D (profiled in the JDRF 2012 annual report). I don’t think there’s any proof of contagiousness- unless you count DNA and a genetic predisposition.

Hey amvaughn-
How can type 1 diabetes can come from vaccinations? I’ve never heard this before and don’t see how it could be possible.


I think “contagious” is a provocative question. While we all believe diabetes is not an infectious disease, in recent years in some geographic areas of the country, the prevalence of TD1 has seemed to some parents to be suspiciously high. I believe the indicidence of T1D in the Palm Beach County vicinity of South Florida to be oddly high and my child’s pediatric endo has agreed that something seems wrong - the cases are skyrocketing in south Palm Beach County suburbs. By some accounts, there are 6 new cases in recent months within 2 contiguous neighborhoods in Boca Raton, Florida. I have personally met 3 of the moms! In my estimation, clusters of diabetes in time and geographic region should be given more attention because while clusters are being studied by the Joslin Institute and the State of Massachusetts (where disproportionately high numbers of diabetes cases or “clusters” have occurred in 3 counties) it is difficult to learn from these patterns without the trends and clusters being studied together. The investigation in Mass reported that the 3 census tracts in Weston and Wellesley showed statistically significantly higher prevalence of T1D than the national prevalence estimate. The study recommended further environmental study of possible immunologic trigger and environmental events. What the Mass Department of Health research seems to show is 1) you begin with a genetic predisposition to T1D, and then 2) you need a immunologic trigger (contact with virus or nutritional trigger)/environmental event. In addition to MMacFL, I am wondering if anyone else has noticed TD1 odd clusters in school or by town/neighborhood?

Exposure to these viruses below are thought be to risk factors for TD1. So the vaccine for Rubella has been studied as a possible trigger because it introduces rubella in some from into the body. Vaccines for mumps, measles, Hep B and others are also being studied for causation triggers of T1D. No general consensus yet in the medical community.

• Rubella (congenital)
• Coxsackie B
• Rotaviruses

My son was dx 3yrs.ago and to this day I swear it was the chicken pox booster shot that triggered it.

Also when my son was dx they had 11 cases dx that day. The doctors were stunned. We live 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pa.

My daughter was diagnosed at 13 months, 20 days in 2010. My husband was diagnosed in 2001, when he was 22. Nobody else has TID in our families, or friend/work communities.

Twinsrus413, I never considered how close her diagnoses was to her 12 month vaccines. But having a father that has T1D seems to have played a factor.

No cluster that I’m aware of. I had never met anyone with type 1 before my diagnosis a year ago (today!). I have only met one since (endo connected us). I sometimes wish there were more people around to talk with (in Seattle). As for vaccines, I hadn’t had any for years before my diagnosis.

Thanks for all of the feedback to my post. I am still intrigued by diabetic clusters and although it doesn’t apply to everyone, I feel like the occurrence of these clusters should not be overlooked. Feel free to report anything you may hear or learn in the future.

My daughter was diagnosed at 4 years, in 2004. There was no history of T1D in my family/friend/communities and my wife’s family/friend/communities as far as we know. We do not believe diabetes is contagious bcoz no one has been diagnosed T1D in our families since last ten years.

Both parents give a child the genes to develop type 1 diabetes. It’s a dominant gene, but not every child with the genetic predisposition develops type 1.

It’s thought that there is a catalyst that makes type 1 develop. That’s the part that drives parents crazy because you wonder if you could have done something different. The idea that an immunization was a catalyst could possibly be true, but the reality is, that research studies have shown there isn’t an increased risk of developing type 1 for kids who are immunized. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11731639

This American Diabetes Association link has specific information. It says that even though type 1 only develops in people with the genetic predisposition, it’s not passed on from generation to generation at high rates like type 2 diabetes or other diseases. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html

Before my son was diagnosed I only knew of one person who had T1D and it was very distantly. We have no family history besides the sone of my fifth cousin.
On the day he was diagnosed there were two other families in the hospital who had older children diagnosed that day. The curious thing is that we all spoke different languages (English, Spanish, and Russian) and couldn’t do training together.
The general consensus is that Frank got the poop end of the genetic stick and happened to pull a recessive gene from both my husband and I.