Although there is no known cause of juvenile diabetes there are risk factors that can contribute to the likeliness a child will be diagnosed with the disease. As some forms of type 1 diabetes are an autoimmune disease you can be at a higher risk if you have already been diagnosed with a different autoimmune disease. There are also some conditions surrounding a mother's pregnancy and labor that could contribute to the diagnosis of juvenile diabetes.
If your child has been diagnosed with one of these autoimmune diseases he or she is considered at a higher risk for diabetes in childhood:
- If your child has had one of these viruses: hepatitis, mumps, or CMV disease
- Thyroid problems are known as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (or Graves disease)
- Celiac disease
There has been some evidence that has shown that a child born to a mother over the age of 35 could be at higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes. This is not conclusive and it is not to say that a child born to a younger mother is not at risk as well. Some studies indicate that a mother who had pre-eclampsia during pregnancy will give birth to a baby with a higher risk of being diagnosed - but this is not a proven fact.
Other risk factors include race - people from Northern Europe or areas of the Mediterranean - are considered at higher risk than other races. Environmental and dietary factors can play a role too. If a child is under a lot of stress it is considered a reason why he or she may go onto developing type 1 diabetes. Dietary risks factors include high levels of dairy and nitrosamines (used as a preservative in some meats and cheeses). Exposure to toxins is considered a risk factor too.