Autoimmune conditions diabetes, Graves disease, Vitiligo

LIVINGLIVING

AA

utoimmune diseases

vary in their severity

and symptoms but,

essentially, they're

conditions where the

body's immune system mistakenly attacks

itself. Type 1 diabetes is classed as an

autoimmune disease - which causes

damage to the pancreas - and to add

fuel to the fire, having one autoimmune

condition means you have a higher

chance of developing another.

Research shows that the gene

changes associated with Type 1 diabetes

are also connected with coeliac disease

and autoimmune thyroid disease, while

there's also a family link to consider. Any

family history of an autoimmune disease

can mean there's a higher chance of

developing any autoimmune disease.

Here is an overview of some common

(and lesser-known) autoimmune

conditions to consider when you have

Type 1 diabetes.

Addison's disease

This is a condition that occurs when your

adrenal glands don't produce enough

of the cortisol and often aldosterone

hormones. These hormones have

various roles within the body - including

controlling blood sugar levels, regulating

metabolism, growing tissue, regulating

mood, responding to stress, and helping

to maintain blood pressure.

Having both Addison's disease and

ON ONE CONDITION

There are over 80 known autoimmune diseases - Type 1

diabetes included - and, when you have one, there's more

chance of having another on top. We look the signs, symptoms

and treatment of several conditions - from common to rare -

that some people with Type 1 may develop. By Angela Coffey.

Type 1 diabetes is known as Schmidt

syndrome. It's not common - less than

1% of people with Type 1 diabetes have it;

however, the risk of developing it is higher

with Type 1 than the general population.

People are generally around 30-50

years old when signs and symptoms

appear, which include muscle weakness

or pain, skin hyper-pigmentation, fatigue,

mood swings, salt cravings, weight loss

and lack of appetite, low blood pressure,

nausea and/or diarrhoea, abdominal pain,

and lower back and/or leg pain.

If you show signs of Addison's, a

blood test can measure hormone and

mineral levels - you may even have a CT

scan or MRI of your adrenal glands. If

Addison's disease is confirmed, you'll be

treated with hormone medication.

beyondtypeone.org/addisions

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people

and, according to Coeliac UK, between

4 and 9% of people with Type 1 diabetes

will also have the condition. There's no link

with Type 2 diabetes, though that doesn't

mean you can't have it or won't develop

it, so be aware of the symptoms.

continued over

Vitiligo is seen in some people with diabetes (see overleaf).

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