- advertisement -

Did you have a pet when diagnosed with Type One?

Discussion in 'Surveys and Studies' started by prv8eye, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. prv8eye

    prv8eye New Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    During a checkup of our 1 year old daughter my wife noticed several red bumps on her abdomen. The pediatrician said they looked like flea bites. (We had a dog and a cat ). Several months later our daughter began acting very moody, like a teenage girl. She continued to often have these mood swings which could be quite strong and hurtful when she rejected attention. One morning when she was 7 we could see from her gaunt appearance that something was obviously wrong. We rushed he to the pediatrician who immediately said she was suffering from ketosis. We then rushed her to Rady Children's Hospital where they diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes.
    My wife, who has a PHENOMENAL memory, noticed several red spots with white specs in the middle which were in the exact same location as the "flea bites" our daughter had as a baby. The nurse told my wife that could be the spot where the virus first entered the body. When my wife asked if Diabetes could be spread by flea bites the nurse just responded that nobody yet knows the cause.
    Of course we don't know either but wonder if there has ever been a study about the correlation of pet ownership and type 1 diabetes.
    We have scoured the internet and can find no mention of a study or the possibility that fleas spread a virus that causes type 1 but it certainly seems plausible.Fleas, after all, were responsible for spreading the plague. The warmer the client the higher percentage of people with Type 1 and the warmer the climate the more active fleas are. Some fleas have built up resistance to some flea treatments for pets. It would explain the explosion of the number of cases of type 1.
    Of course you don't need a pet or to work with animals to get a flea bite but it's a LOT more likely.
    This seems a common sense question for anyone doing research into the cause of Type 1 but we don't see or hear of it EVER being addressed. Doctors and nurses dismiss the question out of hand with thier stock "nobody knows" response.
    Does anyone know of ANY survey of children diagnosed with type 1 that asks about pet ownership?
    If so, please let us know at prv8eye at gmail dot com

    Thank you,
    Gus and Erin Morrow
    Valley Center, CA
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    What virus do you think entered your daughters body?
  3. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    They're just asking, and some of the things fleas carry can be quite bad.


    To the original poster:

    What I've read often points to a lot of enterovirus and gut health, but no one knows exactly what the triggers are. There may be several things or a perfect storm of things involved. I was on antibiotics after my daughter's birth, so she got them through breastmilk, and then she was on antibiotics herself two weeks later. Her gut didn't have a chance to get established before it was bombarded. An unhealthy gut can't detox metals well, and in that era, immunizations had mercury in them, for which she tested high. Mercury is toxic to beta cells. Combine all that with a genetic predisposition.....11 years later T1D, though in her case, looking back, her pancreas had been showing it was stressed for several years.

    The important thing now, though, is to put your energy into learning to manage D well. Hopefully a cure will be found within our kids' lifetimes. Regardless, the technology is so much better than when my daughter was diagnosed, and those were incredible compared to early.
  4. joshualevy

    joshualevy Approved members

    Dec 30, 2008
    A quick search turned up four. One found a lowered risk of type-1 diabetes with pet ownership, three found no difference, and none found a heightened risk with animals. For each study I have the link to the pubmed record, and a quote from the abstract. In several cases, I have removed the statistics so that the conclusions read more smoothly, but you can always get the exact data from the pubmed record:

    From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15317611
    The multivariate regression model showed that the following factors were significantly associated with the risk of developing Type 1 DM (odds ratio, 95% confidence intervals): ... regular contact with pets and other animals (0.552, 0.309-0.987). [This is right on the border between pets lower the risk of type-1 and pets have no impact. The odds ratio is just barely in the "no impact" area but the confidence interval is just barely in the "lower" area.]

    From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2702913
    There was little or no difference between cases and controls with regard to parental smoking habits, exposure to pets, and consumption of meat products high in nitrosamines.

    From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28459973
    No association was found between exposure to dogs and type 1 diabetes in childhood. The size of the dog or number of dogs in the household also was not associated with type 1 diabetes risk.

    From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24957949
    Children exposed to an indoor dog, compared with otherwise similar children without an indoor dog exposure, had a reduced odds of developing preclinical type 1 diabetes and clinical type 1 diabetes. All of the other microbial exposures studied were not associated with preclinical or clinical diabetes

    General note: I found it interesting that all the studies focused on dogs, or (a few) animals in general, but none focused on cats!

    I think you are confused about this. Higher type-1 diabetes rates are found in colder climates, farther away from the equator. For example, the USA has a higher rate than Mexico, and the highest rates in the world are found in the Nordic countries. Type-1 diabetes is more common in northern Europe, than in southern Europe, and so on.

  5. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Yes, I understand they were just asking. But I was trying to get to the source of their beliefs. I feel that they, like many parents, try to find some cause or some reason or anything that will make some sense out of this horrible thing that happened to our children. And that is normal and understandable. But in that search, people also mistake correlation for causation. And that is often times a mistake.

    The OP appeared to be believing that fleas cause Type 1 diabetes. And I have never seen anything that would lead me to believe that is true.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  6. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    This is an interesting theory. I believe we can be affected by things that happened to us much earlier in life and never make the connection. I can't say that the red bumps had nothing to do with her diabetes. I will say, though, that my son has t1 diabetes, diagnosed at age 7, and we have never owned any pets. The only small exposure to dogs or cats is visiting other people's homes, which was not often and I don't believe we ever spent the night at a place with indoor dogs. Cats, yes.

    When they say they don't know the cause of t1 diabetes, they mean it. That is not a canned answer they give to get you to stop asking. ;) I fully know the frustration behind a child having a disease with no known origin or cure. But at this point, if she has it already, I feel your energy is best spent learning how to care for her the best way you can. If you personally feel you must look for a cause, please do so. But I think it will be a wild goose chase and may leave you even more frustrated and exhausted. On the other hand, maybe you will be the one to crack the mystery. :)

    Best of luck to you in your journey.
  7. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

    Dec 1, 2013
    You're right. T1 researchers don't know, and many hypotheses that seemed to have preliminary evidence to support them have later either been debunked or shown to be extremely incomplete. But for the sake of my non-T1 children and nieces and nephews and their eventual offspring, I really hope that cause research continues and bears fruit. Given the breakneck rate of increase in T1 and associated autoimmunity in the developed world, it's pretty obvious to me that there's some combination of viral, dietary, environmental triggers that set this off in genetically susceptible individuals.

    It would be awesome if, someday, the medical community could offer empirically grounded advice on how to lower T1 risk. We're nowhere close to that right now. I myself followed infant feeding advice that was later shown to be useless in reducing T1/celiac risk, but also otherwise harmless. But it doesn't seem impossible that we could someday have a better understanding of the cause. In the meantime, I think it's a fascinating intellectual puzzling!

    p.s. We've never owned a pet either.

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice