New T1 diagnosis - stress as a trigger?

RownhamPlace

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Hi everyone!

Our 16 year-old son has recently been diagnosed with Type 1. He's had a bit of a stormy year, as he also had testicular cancer diagnosed in July and surgery for this in August (thankfully, all now seems fine on that front). He started going downhill a few weeks post-op, although in hindsight, I think symptoms probably started in July. His HbA1c was 145 at diagnosis.

His testicular lump was found late last year. He saw the GP at the begining if January, but was referred on the wrong pathway for investigation and then COVID hit, so he wasn't actually diagnosed until July. Meanwhile, he was incredibly stressed (he says far more so than having the diabetes diagnosis).

I have an autoimmune thyroid problem, but there's no Type 1 in either side of the family. He was obviously at increased risk of developing Type 1, but the timing of onset makes me wonder if stress has played a part.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced onset following acute or chronic stress?
 
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Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
My mum was diagnosed at 22 and is convinced that it was triggered by stress when my dad had a motorbike accident that nearly killed him.

My daughter's, I’m fairly certain, was triggered by a virus. Clearly there is a genetic link too though!
 

Thebearcametoo

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
They think that an illness may trigger diabetes but there is a lot of variation in what those illnesses or other stress events are. My daughter may have had a normal winter virus as her trigger, nothing at all major.

There’s no way to know exactly what triggers diabetes and I don’t know that it’s helpful to look for a reason when it could be something or it could be nothing. We search for understanding as a way of coping but it isn’t a clear enough link for diabetes. If it helps to think that stress caused it then go with that but don’t beat yourselves up about ‘if it had been less stressful he wouldn’t have got it’ as it may have happened with no obvious cause anyway.

You’ve had a hell of a year. Have you been offered some family counselling or access to the diabetes team psychologist? It might be good to have a chat with them. With a cancer diagnosis there’s often a lot of breath holding and once there’s a lull you suddenly have a lot of feelings to deal with. And then on top of that you’ve not got a diabetes diagnosis to add to the mix. That’s a lot of worry for a parent.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
My SportsMassage Therapist, and I were having a general conversation about Covid, and she said she has a client who is a Paediatrician who said they normal have one child a week being diagnosed a week, but during the pandemic they have been having 2-3 a week.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Well - there were no visible signs of me having the likelihood in my genes when I was diagnosed aged 22 - diabetes of either Type was not recognised in either side of the family - but my paternal grandma died 'of heart trouble' when dad was approx 13 and his little sister pre deceased grandma and had never really had robust health - so who knows??

Before approx 1950, it was very unusual for diabetic mums to achieve 'live' births - enough pregnancies but most had sadly either resulted in miscarriage or stillbirth, prior to then. Hence there are many many more of us alive today with faulty genes in the first place !

When the body's immune system is in heightened attack mode, whatever it happens to be attacking, if there's a hairline crack in some other part of the body's defence mechanism, then to my simple non medical brain, maybe the bit with the hairline crack gets attacked too?

It is far, far easier surely to simply shrug the shoulders, say Hey Ho, and get on with your life as best you can ? Just accept it as the hand you've been dealt.

It's a very steep learning not a curve, but a peak to climb right now - so your son's brain is absolutely ready to absorb new stuff at his age and also to ask questions - hence your brain needs to emulate his right now. I've been T1 since 1972 and I can certainly still learn different things I didn't know about it, gradually you sort out for yourself which things you need to remember and which you don't - so the process DOES get easier with time. Honestly, it really does.

In the meantime for the next 50 ish years or so - there are no 'silly' questions!!!! If you don't know or don't understand anything at all - ask, ask, ASK!
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
There are ongoing studies funded by DUK into the causes and triggers of T1, and what makes someone with an increased likelihood of developing it, actually eventually get a diagnosis with the condition while others don’t.

There seem to be a number of genes which, in combination, are fairly strong indicators, and then a combination of ‘environmental factors’ which trigger the development of T1.

It’s a fascinating topic, and they are hoping that better understanding may mean that some preventative measures may be possible in the future, to screen, and help delay or prevent development of T1.
 
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