Colin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on June 27, 2007, at the age of 7. With no family history, we were shocked by the diagnosis. Colin was the eighth of our nine children. Why did Colin get type 1 diabetes and not our other kids?
A Stroke of Bad Luck?
When the doctors diagnosed Colin, we were told the cause might be a virus, which is certainly a plausible idea. A genetic factor was also mentioned as well as “a stroke of bad luck.” Nobody seemed to know, or suggest I think about it, so I put the question of causality on the back burner. A year later our lives took a dramatic turn, and I was forced to think about it. (Read our story here.)
As I researched the rapid decline in our family’s health in 2007, I connected the dots not only to Colin’s autoimmune disease but our food allergies, migraines, abdominal pain, declining liver function and much more.
While our massive mold exposure clearly impacted our health negatively, it did not explain why Colin developed type 1 and my other kids did not. I can’t say what caused my son’s pancreas to stop producing insulin; I can say I don’t buy into the “stroke of bad luck” theory. Even recent research supports the idea that environment plays a significant role in protecting our immune system. (See Environment, Not Genes, Dictates Human Immune Variation.)
So why did Colin get type 1 diabetes?
1. His mold exposure
Colin was six months old when we moved into our Colorado home. Within months, he developed swollen adenoids. These enlarged adenoids, I learned much later, contributed to his crooked teeth. (Since leaving the home, his teeth have straightened on their own.) In May 2007, I found hidden mold in a downstairs bedroom. We hired an unqualified remediator who exposed our family to even higher levels of mold by blowing fans on the exposed walls. Six weeks after the botched remediation, Colin was diagnosed. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Also, Colin is genetically predisposed to having a tough time detoxing mold. See the article Genetic Susceptibility.
In the enlightening article Inflammatory Disease and the Human Microbiome the authors note,
Any microbe capable of dysregulating VDR (Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor) activity significantly impairs the innate immune response, allowing the pathogen to persist with greater ease . . . The fungus Apsergillus fumigatus secretes a gliotoxin which significantly downregulates VDR expression (Coughlan et al., 2012).
There is no doubt in my mother’s heart that the microbes associated with our water-damaged home and the spread of these microbes played a role in the onset of Colin’s disease.
2. His room
As our youngest child at the time of our move in 2000, we created a “room” for Colin in a nook located adjacent to our older boys’ room. The nook had plenty of space for a playpen and toys. I decorated it in a Blue’s Clues theme. The nook, however, had no ventilation and no window. We would later learn that this nook was located directly under a hidden water leak that was a result of poor construction. All rooms need to breathe, but a room exposed to toxic mold, must breathe.
As for the lighting, artificial light is not like natural sunlight. Consider this excerpt of the book Health and Light, by John Ott,
“Research has now demonstrated that the full spectrum of daylight is important to stimulate man’s endocrine system properly and that he suffers side effects when forced to spend much of his time under artificial light sources that reproduce only a limited portion of the daylight spectrum.” (From the introduction by James Winston Enfield, D.D.S.)
3. His birth
All nine of my children were born vaginally, which research now suggests supplies the infant with abundant bacterial colonization. Colin’s birth, however, was different. He was born sunny side up, or in an occiput posterior (OP) position. Thankfully there were no complications, but his microbial exposure was clearly different than the other eight.
According to one study, children with type 1 are missing the diversity of microbes found in healthy children. “The quantity of bacteria essential to maintain gut integrity was significantly lower in the children with diabetes than the healthy children.” (See Gut Microbiota in Children with Type 1 Diabetes differs from that in Healthy Children: a Case-Control Study.)
4. His diet
I breastfed Colin for six months, just as I had with the others. (I wish I had breastfed longer.) We transitioned him to our family’s diet which unfortunately was full of highly processed food. I have no doubt the poor diet further degraded his already ailing gut lining and immune system. Eventually, our family turned to a real food diet, something Colin has written about in the article My Real Food Story.
5. Low vitamin D
We lived in a Chicago suburb at the time of my pregnancy. Given the dreary weather, I wonder if I was low in vitamin D during the third trimester. A study released April 2016 links insufficient vitamin D during pregnancy with type 1 diabetes. See Vitamin D-binding Protein and 25-Hydroxyvitamin D During Pregnancy in Mothers Whose Children Later Developed Type 1 Diabetes.
6. The HiB Vaccine
The more I learn about vaccines, the more I suspect the heavy childhood vaccine schedule exacerbated our mold exposure. In particular, the Hemophilus influenza B vaccine given 4 times to Colin (as I was an obedient mom who complied with anything a doctor prescribed), may have done the trick. Consider the findings of Dr. Bart Classen and David Classen in the PubMed study Clustering of cases of insulin dependent Diabetes (IDDM) occurring three years after hemophilus influenze B (HiB) immunization support causal relationship between immunization and IDDM.
What caused my son’s type 1 diabetes? Neither the medical community nor I can say for sure. I suspect the above factors, in combination with other factors such as chemicals in the home, Tylenol after vaccination, pesticide exposure, and exposure to high levels of electromagnetic radiation created a storm of toxicity that kept his body in defense mode for too long. Or perhaps my weak genetics alone (as a child raised in the age of plastics and pesticides), created a weakness in him.
Frankly, I don’t need to know. I’m willing to embrace our reality and move forward. Moving forward means that I continue to make healthy choices and help Colin do the same. I can also continue to ask questions and think carefully about the connection between environment and health.
Are you a mom with a type 1 child? What are your theories?
I was delighted to read your article! I too have a child that was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and was given the same excuses you were. I took longer that you, to realize the people I was getting important healthcare information for my child, knew less than I did! I discovered that a hot bath with Apple cider vinegar would drop his blood sugars hundreds of points in just 20 minutes. I was told that was not probable. I thought toxins as well. About 6 months ago I put him on a raw food detox (dhealthstore) with incredible results! He is on the slim pump, and I took it off for days…yes I said days!! When it was over we went back to his normal paleo diet, when I noticed other quirky things. When he ate meat his bg numbers would spike and I couldn’t get them down with insulin. We raise our own animals mostly on grass and hay we also raise ourselves. No grains. The meat wasn’t toxic, his body was! I discovered ayurveda. Between that and the book I’m about to read, The Paleo Approach, I am making leaped and bounds with my knowledge and progress on healing his little body. I researched leaky gut and put him on a raw probiotic. I can’t find anyone that believes that toxins and gut health are the cause. Thank you. I now have more belief in my theories. Please, please let me know if there are tips or tricks that work for your son!! Thank you for the inspiration on a truly dark matter.
Andrea Fabry says
This is inspiring. What a persistent spirit you have that will no doubt benefit your son for many years to come. Thanks for sharing.
How do you remove the pump for days and not deal with ketones?
Andrea Fabry says
We don’t use the pump so I’m not sure on this.
Cynthia Jamiel says
I have type 1 had it since July of 2010 and I’ve been on the pump (omnipod) I love it I’ve been on the pump since I think September 2018
Anna @Green Talk says
My oldest was diagnose with JV 1 at the age of 15. He is the oldest of four boys. We didn’t have mold in our house and his room was brightly light. I keep thinking the only difference between him and the other boys was he was a fertility baby and the others were not. Also, I had back labor with him and the others I didn’t. Delivery was the same for all of the boys.
He was breast feed until he was 14 months but I wasn’t eating organic foods at the time.
He also had shingles when he was 12. I thought that was really odd and told the doctor this. He has since had singles again.
I did give him Tylenol after vaccinations like the other boys.
I wish I could pinpoint something except the fertility drugs that could shed some light on why he acquired diabetes.
Andrea Fabry says
Your story and others shows how difficult it is to pinpoint. Some moms of children with type 1 had none of our issues and still have a child whose pancreas stops producing insulin. I wonder about the generational impact of the steady rise in chemical use and other toxins that we have no control over. The fertility drug is an interesting issue! You sure are a great mom.
As you know, Andrea, we now have two out of our five daughters with early onset T1D. We had tried to do everything we could to prevent any of our other children from getting it after the first one… healthy environments, no vaccines, gluten free diet… so here are my theories, but first the break down. Abby (the first to contract it) was the one that was conceived and born during our time in the toxic mold home. She was breastfed, and a couple of months before contracting T1D she was started on a normal gluten diet. She was given her 12 month vaccines (with Tylenol) and within a week she and her sisters came down with a “virus”. The siblings recovered, but Abby did not. She stayed sick for 3-4 weeks until her diagnosis. Susanna was the second to contract T1. She was also breastfed. She, however, we chose not to vaccinate because we were convinced that it was the MMR vaccine that sent Abby’s immune system over the edge. We also chose a gluten free diet for Susanna. About a month before her diagnosis, we were unknowingly feeding Susanna gluten chicken nuggets. She also had a “virus” before her diagnosis. I have spent countless hours pondering the various theories. They were the two I breast fed (probably not really part of it, but still). I felt like with Abby, the mold must have played a part and then the vaccine sent her over the edge. Then with Susanna, I suspected the gluten. Although my two oldest were raised on gluten, and they did not contract T1. All of it leads me to believe that there must be a genetic predisposition and that there may be several different contributing “offenders” that can wear down the immune system until the damage is done to the pancreas. Toxic mold, vaccine injury, viruses, food intolerances, and other environmental toxins- all or some of which applied to the genetically predisposed body- seems to me to be at least part of the cause. Interestingly enough, both my girls contracted it at almost the same exact age.
Andrea Fabry says
This all makes such sense, Pam. I appreciate that you took the time to share this – I have no doubt it’s helpful to hear the theories of moms like you. My best to you and your family.
I can speculate based on my own case, though I was never diagnosed diabetic. My health deteriorated while in a bad moldy environment (and during a traumatic time emotionally) and, shortly before leaving that environment, I saw a functional chiro who ordered a CYREX AI panel that showed me as highly AI — having antibodies elevated against many tissues and organs. I stopped eating sugar processed foods and adopted a low carb diet that was basically non-starchy vegetables and meat for about a year. This stabilized my 1hr post BG readings and some other markers for autoimmune diseases. So diet for me was a palliative approach not curative and also unsustainable since accidentally consuming the wrong food, air or water could crash me right down.
I started with functional medicine which lead me to more esoteric types of energy diagnostics which were very useful in showing me where and what was wrong with me, but not very good at showing WHY. Then I found some different practitioners who were able to identify certain pathogens using these muscle testing methods and what remedies to take it.
My blood sugar is normalized now (the worst my insulin resistance ever got was 190s after eating so never diabetic) but also I was on testosterone and thyroid at times and currently I don’t need any exogenous hormones.
So basically through all of this I have a theory for all autoimmune disease that probably is not that original to me and that is extrapolated from what happened to me. Basically this is it:
1. Exposure to toxins weakens the immune system and the detox system
2. Weakened immune function and toxin overload encourages large parasites to take up in the sm intestine
3. Large parasites parked in the middle of small intestine can not be diagnosed easily because parasites have tricks to stay hidden
4. Large parasites make waste which further taxes the detoxification and requires constant energy from the body for disposal
5. At this point a smaller pathogen such as a virus or a bacteria can enter the body where it can not be removed, such as in the pancreas or another tissue where it will take up chronic residence because there is no energy sufficient to eradicate it
6. Eating sugar any excessive carbohydrate will nourish these small infections (while eukaryotic pathogens evidently prefer fat) causing AI flares
7. Getting rid of the infection of the pancreas requires unwinding the whole system, removing the parasites from the intestines, the mold colonies and then the toxins these pathogens are holding.
8. IN THEORY, at this point the body may be able to remove the pancreatic infection without any more help or theoretically an antiviral support can be used.
9. IN THEORY, providing the proper nutrition will then restore the pancreas to working better and IN THEORY eventually normally.
So this is the path I am on for my own health and I am working to show it can be done, that organs and tissues can be restored (which conventional medicine says that they can not) so long as the root problem (infections, toxins, and nutritional imbalances) are corrected. Hopefully I can recover all of my organ systems to function well and my nervous system and everything that has been damaged through my ordeal.
One inexpensive way to look under the hood is a ZYTO bio-energy scan. Though the practitioners who use them typically can’t read them that well to come up with what I just said. So they won’t show all the WHY but the info as to WHAT is broken is usually in there. They are not perfect though and I wouldn’t do one more than 4x a year.
I put one online at a time when I was in the ER for nerve damage to my colon, you can check it out, there is a lot information in there based on energy diagnostics that can’t really be obtained from conventional medicine tests, at least not today.
So basically my theory for all AI disease is best summed up as toxins->parasites->viral/bacteria->damage to organ->AI diagnosis … I am just a patient tho and not a doctor so ya know disclaimer or what have you.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Bryan. I sure appreciate it. My very best to you as you continue on your journey.
Bruce Taylor says
Very good and thank you. That’s pretty much the same path I’ve taken and it looks like mold, a VERY specific one (at least for me), plays absolute holy havoc with blood glucose because it IS so toxic and creates a chronic and on-going lo-grade inflammatory process the results of which inhibit pancreatic function. By pursuing this line of thinking, over close to 40 years, and through muscle testing and an acupressure-like technique (TBM–Total Body Modification) which releases, among other things, heavy metals and has greatly helped me heal from exposure to Black Mold some 3.5 years ago)
taking in as much raw foods as I can, no GMO’s,
No gluten, no dairy (goat milk ok), no red meat, and given I’ve had DT1 some 54 years, how have I fared?
1. 90% reduction of insulin and expecting to drop further in months ahead as I continue to heal from Black Mold. Looking like it may be entirely possible, with exercise program, to be off insulin entirely or supplementing with a few units fast acting insulin before meals.
2. NO complications, NO retinopathy, neuropathy, ZERO.
3. NO prescription medications (save insulin which I buy out of pocket, paying less than insurance will cover)
4. More and more often, a great sense of health and profound well-being and energy.
6. History of chronic rhinitis, food allergies–gone. Chemical sensitivities reduced by 80-85%.
5. At 71, and now that worst of the Black Mold
Impact is behind me, looking forward to backpacking this summer!
For more information about this rather long journey back to wellness, this can be found in a book I wrote, “The Mountains of the Night,” ReAnimus Press.com
Other resources worth pursuing:
“Getting Well Again,” Carl O. Simonton, MD
“How to Survive Being Alive,” Dudley & Welke, (examines the role of stress in illness; dovetails with Simonton’s book, above, which looks at illness as metaphor and is based on the work by Dr. Thomas H. Holmes, The Holmes’ Stress Scale, University of Washington.
“Blue Zones,” National Geographic publications.
” Victory Over Diabetes,” William H. Philpott, MD, and the role of foods/environmental triggers involved in abnormal glucose levels.
In several weeks, I should know the specific
Bruce Taylor says
Edit to above post (could not edit last of post as written) I hope to know the specific mold or trigger involved to my diabetes, Type 1.
Renee Kohley says
This absolutely fascinates me. Thank you for sharing this vital info.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks Renee. Yes, it’s intriguing isn’t it?
Thank you for sharing this info with us. Both my younger siblings were diagnosed with T1 diabetes and I am forever trying to work out, why them and not me.
Andrea Fabry says
Oh your poor mom, Krystal. Two in one family is tough. If you get any insights I’d love to hear.
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this with us. It’s amazing how certain things can contribute to our health. I’m so sorry about the toxic mold, breaks my heart. I actually found your blog many years ago after finding toxic mold in the rental we were living in then. I know that the mold did lots of damage to my daughter’s health. She lived in that house as for her first few years of life. Mold is so awful. Thanks again for sharing his story and your experience with us.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks Emily. I’m glad you guys moved out, but I understand the long term effects. Thanks for all you do to encourage others to eat well.
Megan Stevens says
It is such a tragedy and a shock when our kids have serious health issues, and such a blow as the parents to hear that diagnoses for the first time. You guys are doing so well now weathering life and with a beautiful diet and such open eyes. Thank you for sharing.
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you, Megan. I really appreciate that.
I have a friend who’s son experienced very similar circumstances. Lo an behold he also has type one diabetes. It goes to show us that things we would never expect can be a cause. Best wishes to you and your family!
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks for sharing about your friend, Tash. It’s always good to meet other moms like you and your friend.
Jennifer M says
It seems like this juvenile diabetes is becoming more and more common. I wish we understood better why. I suspect the early and aggressive American vaccine schedule has something to do with it for some kids…
Andrea Fabry says
Yes, I agree, Jennifer. We’re doing so much to our kids’ bodies at this point it’s hard to know.
Chloe @ How We Flourish says
Very interesting article! It is always difficult to try to pinpoint the root causes of health problems, but I’m sure with 9 kids this kind of comparison will be very helpful in addressing those root concerns.
This is really interesting. I always wonder if some of my 7 kids’ ailments are due to environmental factors that could be changed, but I just don’t think I have it in me to cut out all the things we need to!
Andrea Fabry says
I hear you, Crystal – it’s all very overwhelming. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Kim K says
Oh, my gosh…. I am reading this post with tears rolling down my cheeks! In the four years since my precious son’s diagnosis with T1D, I have never come across another mother of a T1D who is willing to look beneath the surface and fight for answers. I am discovering, looking at blog comments above, that I am not alone in my quest. My son, my first, was born in the OP position just like yours. I had the flu vaccine while pregnant–even though I knew the dangers of vaccines from working with children with ASD–because my OB badgered me into getting it. I had the most terrible feeling that entire day. Then, when born preemie, he was placed on an 8 day course of antibiotics. The poor guy did not have a fighting chance. He was breastfed for 15 months but, in my ignorance, I was eating a highly processed diet–lots of GMO foods, very little read food. As a toddler, he lived with a bag of GMO tortilla chips in his hand. At the time, we thought it was cute. We were also living in a very moldy old house–the house I had to have that had so much character wound up poisoning us. We stayed sick constantly until I started searching out answers after his diagnosis with T1D.
His endos were little help and actually discouraged two forays I initiated into grain-free eating. I wanted to try GAPS but I had no family support at the time. My husband has since radically changed positions, but at the time he was very much the product of a family with several nurses and a heavy Western medicine bent. The endocrinologists–two different ones at two different practices–actually told me that going grain free was not the reason his blood sugars were improving and urged me to return gluten and other grains into his diet. His sugar shot right back up….
Fast forward a couple years and my son’s already compromised health was further compromised by a vaccine reaction. He developed a severe neurological allergy to corn. To keep things concise, let’s just say he had a terrible nervous breakdown with hallucinations, severe depression, rages, a complete personality change. We felt like our son died but I was not going to give up on him. I kept fighting the fight, found the corn allergy, removed the corn and turned my husband into a real believer in alternative methods of healing. Our son, with the help of real food, complete avoidance of corn, and lots of digestive enzymes, salt baths, etc., came back to us.
Since then, after a year having to avoid corn diligently, we have decided we are going to give GAPS the real honest try. I am not under the illusion that we will heal his T1D, but we are already seeing a huge improvement in his numbers since removing cane sugar and most grains. We are transitioning slowly so the change in diet will be easier for the family as a whole. A bit of rice and oats are all that remains and the kids are being great sports. I am seeing, once again, that as we remove grains and cane sugar, the kids’ pallets are opening up to more veggies and meats that they might have avoided before. I will admit I am missing the occasional organic pizza that gave me a break from cooking but I am learning new methods to make this cooking lifestyle easier. At least I enjoy cooking! I will be thankful for that over the next few years.
So what we hope to get from GAPS–we would at least like to see our son’s corn allergy disappear so that he does not have to walk on eggshells when he enters the world ten years from now. At least he is still young and I am thankful we have time to try and help him. The rub for him is that corn causes psychotic reactions in him and psychotic meds (which we want to avoid anyways) all contain corn–often corn gluten. I cannot imagine what it would be like for him as an adult having to deal with a reaction from hidden corn in a food or soap or toothpaste. Corn is used heavily in everything including the “all natural” hygiene products at the health food store.
We all have issues after living in that toxic house and surviving on processed foods for years. I had 7 miscarriages while living there–no reason that my OB could find…. My daughter has always had terrible sleep patterns, leg aches, tummy troubles. My husband’s tremor and ADHD got so much worse. I felt like I was developing fibromyalgia and suffered numerous autoimmune symptoms aside from the miscarriages.
Thankfully, we moved out of the toxic house into a well-constructed craftsman home without mold issues. Since then, our health has already improved dramatically. I finally started losing weight and have seen many of my autoimmune symptoms diminish. We no longer keep the sore throats and colds. I am sure real food has helped that, but I know that getting away from that house is helping our bodies to respond better to detox baths and healing foods. I am excited to see what GAPS does for us. With a much more peaceful home already–kids not fighting so much and no nearly so moody and a mom who does not constantly feel like a crab–I am looking forward to what happens when the real healing diet begins.
Thank you for sharing your life with us so that we might benefit! And thank you for reminding us that “it takes time.” That has been a hard but necessary lesson for me to learn.
Blessings and peace,
Andrea Fabry says
We are true kindred spirits! I so appreciate you taking the time to share your story. This will help other moms who read this post. You have come so far and I am so thankful you took the time to connect with me. I would love to stay in touch. I am wondering if I can make a separate post with your story. If you see this and get a chance can you email me directly?
This is all really fascinating information you have come up with. I do not have a child with type 1, but I was diagnosed myself with type 1 when I was 26 years old, kind of late as most cases are developed in childhood. But as a late bloomer in this cruel condition, I did have the advantage of being able to remember a lot as well as applying that information to possible reasons as to why I might have developed the condition in the first place. Like you, there is absolutely no family history of this disease, and I was not sick prior to the diagnosis. What I did remember, was that I had gotten in a slight fender bender with my car, then I also had to deal with my husband getting deployed for 18 months, after he had left and the car accident, it had been 2 weeks and I developed the symptoms, at the time I had extreme thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, and a stye in my eye. I thought two things, either I was pregnant, or I was so stressed that my body had begun showing the signs….
Sure enough though after a week of having the symptoms that did not go away, I made an appt, and BOOM…diabetes it was…the worst part, type 1 diabetes, I was so convinced that given my age, I was likely going to have type 2, but when antibody testing confirmed type 1 my whole world changed.
As far as the mold, I stayed in a room with mold in it several years prior to my diagnosis, so it could be that your theory is headed towards the right direction. Also, current empirical research shows that beta cell destruction occurs even years prior to clinical t1dm diagnosis.
This is the problem when it comes to developing a new drug or cure for us, scientists cannot pinpoint what triggers the initial stage of beta cell destruction.
I have also noticed that my blood sugar levels highly correlate with my mood, ideal numbers when tranquil and calm, and sky rocket high when I am made or angry. Given that I was extremely stressed prior to my diagnosis, I feel that psychological issues may play an important role as well. Not necessarily having to have a mental disorder, but an imbalance in essential neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, and so forth…
My symptoms also began in July, and I was diagnosed on 2 Aug, I was hesitant in being seen for such minor issues, and so I waited, luckily I didn’t go in too late.
I really appreciate the information that you have been able to accumulate, and I think the more we can remember and put out there, the closer we can help researchers identify what triggered this disorder in the first place and come up with a real plan for us.
Andrea Fabry says
This all makes complete sense, Jennifer. I appreciate the time you took to share your story. It makes sense about the neurotransmitter balance in all of it. I agree that it’s good to think about these things. Thanks again for sharing
My son was diagnosed with T1D at 18 months old and is now 21 months old. I haven’t stopped asking why, it is very unsettling to not have answers. No history of Type 1 diabetes in my family or in my husband’s family. We did not have mold issues, and our baby was born vaginally and I breastfed him until he was 15 months old. I did research diet and toxic exposure BEFORE getting pregnant. A year before we tried to conceive I cleaned out my kitchen, got rid of all plastics, ate mostly organic (at least followed the clean 15 and dirty dozen rule). I also made sure to clean up the toxins I put on my body, I don’t wear perfume, I make my own deodorant, I use ewg’s website to check the toxicity level on every product I use from shampoo to make-up and I do the same for my son. I made sure I took organic real food ingredients prenatals (cost a fortune) 6 months before I got pregnant and kept taking the same prenatals until I stopped breastfeeding. I also made sure my son’s crib had an organic mattress and organic sheets, that his crib had non-toxic paint, he didn’t use bottles but I made sure they were glass not plastic, wooden toys etc. I am very conscious about toxins in the home, we used low VOC paint in his nursery and in our home. I didn’t take any medications while pregnant with my son (except for one Benadryl which I absolutely did not want to take, but I was stung by a scorpion while pregnant. ) The point is, my son still got T1D besides all my best efforts to keep my family healthy. It felt like a slap in the face when he was diagnosed. I thought I had been so careful.
The conclusions that make sense for us, is that my mother has another autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although, I have three older sisters and they all have healthy children and my mother is the only one in our family (besides my son) to have an autoimmune disease. I’ve found an article that some genes are shared with RA and T1D. Also, my husband has a very bad stomach. Something in our diets would trigger fatigue and cramping. We tried dairy free & gluten free diets, and bought expensive water filtration systems but we never found the cause. He was tested for celiac and crohns but was negative. The doctor told him he had IBS and gave him pills that he promptly threw in the trash. We like to say doctors give the diagnosis of IBS when they really have no idea what is wrong. It seems that my son also has gut issues as well, he had food sensitivities since birth, his pediatrician found blood in his stools but couldn’t tell me what he was having a reaction to, so I stopped eating wheat, corn, dairy, eggs and soy while I breastfeed him. Even after I gave up these foods tests still showed that he was having a reaction to something. I have read that even though you stop eating gluten, it stays in adults systems for awhile. So my guess is that he had/has a gluten and or wheat sensitivity. I have also found a research article linking T1D to wheat sensitivities, and another linking T1D to leaky gut. My son would get rashes, had acid reflux and was very moody (poor guy never felt very good) which could all have been contributed to his food sensitivity. We were told by one years old he would most likely outgrow his sensitivity and I am kicking myself for allowing him to eat whole wheat bread and muffins, if I only knew what I know now. We now as a family eat grain free/ gluten free. My son’s rashes have cleared and my husband’s stomach issues so far seem to be gone (keeping our fingers crossed!) I’ve read grain brain and wheat belly and I think it is the right decision for us. We all also take probiotics (the pricey kind, but worth it.
I am still searching for answers though, could it have been vaccines? Could it have been the stress of moving to another state? Could it be that we now live in a place that has more agriculture (more exposure to pesticides) The search continues…
Andrea Fabry says
You certainly have thought this through and I admire your determination to continue to ask why. I am now exploring cell tower/wireless radiation issues as well. There are so many reasons that a child’s immune system can turn. I admire your perseverance.
I have had Type 1 for 19 years, was diagnosed at 14. My brother and I were raised exactly the same. I have it, he does not. I wish I could go back in to the past and say it was something specific but there is nothing, just a healthy childhood in a nice home. None of the bullet points in this article apply to me. There was a virus that went to my pancreas, made it stop working, and made my autoimmune system go haywire. One autoimmune disease will most likely result in another which is why a lot of diabetics wind up with thyroid problems, etc, which points directly to a bad autoimmune system triggered by a virus. A virus causes Type 1 Diabetes, not mold or anything else listed in this article. I know many other Type 1s and they all believe the same.
Andrea Fabry says
I sure appreciate your thoughts, Amanda!
My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed in May. She had the flu in December. I think autoimmune diseases are triggered by a virus that somehow mimic one’s own antigens. When the immune system produces antibodies to fight off the foreign virus, it goes into overdrive and attacks those personal antigens that resemble the virus. So, I think in my daughter’s case, the pancreas or the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin, were attacked by her immune system and caused it to stop working, because they somehow resemble the flu virus she contracted.
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you for sharing, Haydee. Wishing you and your daughter all the best as you both learn to cope with this.
The same thing Happened to me. At 23 I caught the flu, it was horrible.. I couldn’t walk or move for almost a week. I just started grad school and moved at the time, it was stressful. 6 months later I still wasn’t feeling right, I googled symptoms and type1 came up. Nobody in my family had it, doctor thought I was crazy. Got tested and here I am 8 years later with a pump and cgm.
I am 99.9% positive the flu gave me diabetes. 😩
Thanks for sharing your story, I never heard this happen to anyone else.
My child was 2 years at diagnosis. Full DKA, non- responsive, and had 5-10 minutes to be saved. No family history of type 1. I did everything right in my pregnancy. My uterus ruptured early and I was in hospital till she was born nearly 4 weeks later. She would get colds and flu’s all the time. Lots of vomiting. To the point she was empty. But most of the time, she was healthy. Our old house may have had mold. But I’m convinced it’s the virus theory. And the pancreas goes into defence mode. Attacking it’s own cells. I had a history with pancreatitis, and maybe it played a part. Mine was caused by the pancreas becoming dehydrated. So, I know about the body having organs that self destruct. I don’t really care why, in all honesty. I just want my child to be cured. Sooner than later, cured. Then maybe no one will suffer this disability in the future.
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you for sharing your story, Kery. I agree, no child should have to suffer with this disease.
My son Christopher was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2008 at 26 months old. I was drawn to your article because of the title as well as the picture of a syringe. In my mind there is no doubt that there are some undeniable connections between certain vaccines and some children (like Christopher) developing T1. In our case, 5 days after receiving the DTaP vaccine, he was in DKA and comatose. Like so many, we have no family history, perfect, vaginal delivery and breastfed his first year of life. I have done lots of research and I will link a couple of supporting articles in case anyone else wants to check them out regarding the known connection between vaccines and autoimmune disease.
Andrea Fabry says
I really appreciate this Candy. Thank you for sharing the links too.
I can see that you and your sweet boy are struggling with the “why” part of developing a chronic disease. My sister was diagnosed with T1D at 22 months and I was 19 yrs old when I developed the disease. I was part of a study about Type 1 diabetes prevention and it was for first degree relatives of people with T1D. I had genetic testing as part of this study which found I had all autoimmune markers associated with T1D. This testing was done when I was 16 years old. My family has no T1D but many other autoimmune diseases. Thus, I feel that is the cause. Truth be told though, the medical community is still trying to figure it all out. You may be interested in the TrialNet studies that are still being conducted for relatives of those with type 1.
Best wishes. ..
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks so much for sharing your story and thoughts, Karen!
Chris h says
The mold / diet combination is something we have in common as well. Our 12 year old son was diagnosed w t1d about a year ago. (2 years after moving to FL). We spent a couple years living in Panama a few years back before moving to Jacksonville FL. During that time we rented a home that had noticeable mold in some areas of the house. In addition to this his diet for a large part of his upbringing consisted many processed foods , i.e. Fried chicken nuggets. Admittedly we were not much help in getting him to normalize the quality of his food intake . Still something we struggle with in fact.
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you for sharing, this Chris. Yes, the food issue is ongoing and very difficult in today’s culture. All the best to you and your son. So interesting about the mold.
I have a three healthy daughters, two are identical twins. One of the twins is type 1. I know my response will not be popular or well received but here it goes. NOBODY KNOWS THE CAUSE OF DIABETES. NOBODY. You all seem to have mold issues that have drawn you together. I assure you if it were caused by mold the medical community would have discovered it. My story is like a million out there, my daughters pancreas was attacked and no longer produces insulin. She receives at least 4 injections a day which will keep her alive. I am disturbed by the woman who removed her child’s pump for days depriving the child of insulin. Why would anyone do that? The brain needs insulin as does the body. Sure vinegar in a hot bath works. Do the research, you should never shower or bathe within 30 minutes of receiving insulin because the hot water drops the BG. Not the vinegar. I know any family with T1 wants answers, as did I. The answers come with a cure. Support JDRF, support your child, find a QUALIFIED doc and trust them. We should all focus on the complete well being and self confidence in our children to successfully live with and manage this life disease. I am not a doctor. I will concentrate on all my children and let the research doctors find a cure!!!!
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you for your feedback. There is no way I would suggest mold causes type 1 diabetes. There are multiple triggers for sure. Everyone is so unique as evidenced by your twin daughters. I do appreciate you taking the time to comment.
This is such non-scientific, arbitrary, speculative dross that it borders on the criminal and villainous. You have nothing but baseless inference and the citations of non-accredited quacks to justify your ludicrous list of nonsense. As a person who was diagnosed with diabetes milletus at birth, I am living proof that most of your list is spurious idiocy.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
Andrea Fabry says
I don’t think it hurts to ask questions about the trigger for this disease or any disease. While we clearly disagree, I appreciate your feedback.
Mom with 22 month old with type 1 says
My daughter was diagnosed a little over 3 months ago. She was only 18 months old. I really don’t know what caused it as none of us do. I’m so sad for her but I do know that God somehow has a plan for her. She was not exposed to mold, I ate healthy during my pregnancy and used non toxic cleaning for the home. She was born naturally at home and was breastfed for 9 months. She has had all her vaccines but did not get Tylenol after all of them. I do have luekopenia which causes me to consistently have low white blood cells and so my immune is weak at times. Although my pregnancy with her was normal with no complications. Maybe it played a factor? I don’t know. I pray for a cure is all I know and I believe it will happen in her lifetime.
Andrea Fabry says
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear this, but I agree that a cure is possible.
Joanna De Marco says
Your research for the possible cause of your son’s type 1 diabetes is truly moving. My daughter now 26, was also diagnosed at age 7. No history, large family, why us? Why my child? How, how could this be? It’s the hormones in milk and food, so we buy everything organic. It’s the environment, so I try to control everything around her!! Keep my child healthy as could be as much as possible! Argue with doctor’s, nurses, become educated. Protect, protect, protect!! A mother’s fight for her child’s long life, in an uncontrollable situation. Truth be told, it could be anything!! If we knew we would give up our lives our selves to give them the best possible choice at feeling well, being well. So..I have had to let go, live life, watch her turn to a responsible, capable, educated adult. My love for my child and her hardship from diabetes has taught her to be strong, willing, and happy!! Someone once told me, ” we all have crosses to bear in life, if your child’s is diabetes what’s yours? My answer was simple but hard. It was watching her go through this journey feeling helpless. ” until there’s a cure, none of us will know
Love your son, be good to your family, have faith in God and research. Maybe one day, all of us as mother’s with children of type 1 diabetes will feel relief and sleep the whole night. Oh yes, that part doesn’t end. You don’t sleep. I cook organic provide healthy choices, maintain a clean environment, remind her to check sugars, bolus, keep Dr’s appointments, etc. That’s what I have done, the rest I cannot control.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks so much for sharing, Joanna!
wendy levy says
I am so glad I came across this. I would try Natural Vitality Glycemic Vibrance H (it sometimes is called a different name on Amazon so call Natural Vitality for names and children’s dosage) with Megafood Chromium.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 shortly after turning 17 in 1992. In December I had a bad sinus infection and was given antibiotics. About five weeks later I was taken to the ER. No family history of Type 1 or 2. I believe there are 2 reason for “getting” Type 1. First, are those with a genetic disposition, family history. Second, which has become more and more common, triggers.
Of course trying to figure out what “happened” would be nice but it’s unrealistic. Unless someone comes up with a ton of money to research this we will never get an answer. The education of getting back to the basics in living will help many prevent life changing illnesses. Do what you can with the information you have and live the life you and your family can to to be healthy and happy.
One thing I’d advise to parents of children with diabetes, don’t make them have a “special diet” or tell them they can’t have something when you or other family members do. Everyone should be eating in a healthy way, not just the”different one” in the family. The stress of checking BS and taking shots is bad enough, we don’t need the added stress of being different than the rest of our family! Just a thought.
The bottom line is, diabetes totally sucks! You can do everything “right” and end up with crazy numbers. So you do your best and live life to the fullest for as long as the Good Lord gives you!
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Wendy!
Karen Stanley says
My second son was diagnosed T1D just prior to his 3rd birthday. My husband’s family has a strong link with T1D, as his oldest brother has it, and 2 of our nieces. So it wasn’t a shock, but we were in denial for several weeks before diagnosis. He was much younger at diagnosis than any of the other family.
My son had a normal pregnancy, unmedicated birth, and I breastfed him with some supplementation when I didn’t have enough stored milk (went back to work at 3 months), for 1 year and then still supplemented with breast milk for another year until he was 2. He did have a reaction to penicillin for an ear infection before his diagnosis. And he got hand, foot, and mouth around age 1 or so.
The interesting thing is that my husband has some strange immunity issues. He has had shingles 2X and also viral meningitis 2X (once after each child got hand, foot, and mouth, which is the same enterovirus that causes viral meningitis).
The mold issue is interesting. We were renovating our house when I was pregnant with my T1 son. I never saw any real outward signs of mold, but who knows what we were exposed to.
As of now, we have tried some principles of the GAPS diet and also Paleo to try and make sure he has a healthy gut. Even though wasn’t a picky eater early on, he has grown into a real dislike of low carb. Still, I persist as much as I can. I was on today searching for better school lunch options he will eat when I came upon your post on Pinterest.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks so much for sharing, Karen! Colin’s favorite lunch is made with almond bread that is very low carb. It’s 3 cups almond meal, 6 tablespoons psyllium, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 teaspooons baking powder. Blend and stir in 2 cups water. Let rest and put in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Your son might like it!
Thank you so much for creating your website and for putting your story out there! I truly hope, that with time, awareness about mold really reaches the masses. I can see that it’s the type of thing that almost has to happen to you in order to believe it. I was in denial for a long time, in denial about mold being the culprit for all our unexplainable health issues that numerous doctors couldn’t figure out. I guess after reading various people’s stories, and then looking back at our living conditions, I finally put it all together. I’m so thankful that the light bulb finally turned on for me but wow, it makes so much sense looking back at all my family’s health issues in connection to mold exposure. I guess I was so resistive to the idea that mold could do such damage to the human body because it’s just not widely known information. It just sounded so far fetched. I know the truth now!
So my son, his name is Colin as well! Was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 1. It does not run on either side of my son’s family either. He was also born sunny side up too. I was exposed to mold before I was pregnant, during my pregnancy and after Colin was born. I wish I could go back in time knowing what I know now. But what we can do is inform others and spread awareness.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 20 after loosing 50lbs, my doctors think I may have shocked my body. However my brother was diagnosed when he was 13 and we don’t know why. Diabetes affects us all so differently.
Andrea Fabry says
Yes it does! Thank you for sharing.
My son was diagnosed at 2.1 years old, 1 month after her sister born. My wife has T1. I have read a lot about causes of Diabetes and in my mind I ended up with this conclusions:
1- You have to have certain genes. They are 4 genes. The more you have, the more likely you will develop diabetes. If you have the 4 genes, your probability is 90%. If you don’t have any of the genes your probability is null.
2- There are triggers, the most commonly accepted triggers by the medical society are:
– Virus (specifically enterovirus RNA). It is the most common virus for flu and gastroenteritis.
– Deficiency in Vitamin D3 of the Child
– Cow milk. Specifically there is a virus in cow’s called paratuberculosis that is not killed during pasteurization, and in “theory” is not harmful for humans.
– Breastfeeding for at least one year can help prevent it.
You can find all this conclusions in this study: “Risk Factors and Primary Prevention Trials for Type 1
In our case, our son:
1- Had plenty of sun light and D3 drops until he was 1.5 years. I don’t think he had Vitamin D3 deficiency.
2- He was breastfeed until he was 14 months
3. He hated Cow milk
But he did have the enterovirus 6 months before the diagnosis. So my conclusion is that he have the genes, and the virus triggered.
There is not much to do to prevent it if you have the genes. Now we have a 6 months baby, and we try to manage all this variables to reduce the risk, but we will not know for sure until we make her a genetic study.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks for adding your experience, Manuel.
My son was 10 when I diagnosed him myself. He was just not right. I started writing everything down that was going on for a week. Long story real short..my son became diabetic because of him having a respiratory infection and the Dr’s gave him prednisone. PREDNISONE..can you believe it. His body couldn’t fight the illness and the prednisone triggered the diabetes.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks for sharing this, Melany.
My son was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 11. There was no mold involved in our situation, he was not breastfed, and really there is no logical reason for him to have Type 1. No one in our family has it. I’ve begged and pleaded with doctors for answers. As mothers, I think it is only natural to want to blame ourselves. There must have been something I did wrong, the circumstances, the environment, the decisions I made, the food I fed him, what I gave him to drink, the place I raised him… I could go on and on. Diabetes doesn’t seem to have a rhyme or reason. I wish I had an answer. Every day. I just want to know why. Why did it have to be my son and why couldn’t it be me instead??
I feel your pain. I really do.
Andrea Fabry says
Thanks for your comments, Dawn.
Hello everyone, as a type 1 diabetic myself – been type 1 since 2000. I do not agree with any of your thoughts for the onset of type 1 diabetes. I remember learning something in college biology about the protein markers our bodies have. These are markers that identify an organ to our bodies, a lot like a serial number to a cars engine. Well, most of the time it is an autoimmune situation waiting to explode because the protein markers that attach to the insulin portion of the pancreas are genetically compromised, that is why doctors describe a virus attach as the cause. A virus enters your body (any type of virus, because all virus need a host to attach to), and leaches onto the insulin producing hormone, thus altering the protein markers. When these protein markers are reading to the white fighting cells in the body as something foreign and unwanted… guess what?! It causes the white blood cells to attach the insulin production because my body is registering the insulin hormone as a foreigner and not an ally.
So yes, viruses do cause the infliction of type 1 diabetes, not your food or environment. Your genetic make up will determine how your body is able to 1)fight things off 2) how strong your protein markers are.
Think about it, why is it we put organ recipients on antibody meds to make sure their bodies do not reject a new organ before it has time to be accepted by the body?!
Science ya’ll… science.
However. I will not disagree that environment. Food and the overall mannerisms dont contribute to how well someone is able to cope with diabetes.
But a lot of you guys are so eager to place blame on to why this happened. Focus on how to handle it and know that type 1 diabetics are not all the same.