Dr. Weinstock: The hygiene hypothesis proposes that children who develop type 1 diabetes may be less exposed to infections or other challenges to the immune system that can then affect the immune system so that these children are more prone to have an autoimmune response against insulin-producing beta cells. Other possible triggering events for the development of type 1 diabetes may be exposure to certain viruses, early introduction of cow’s milk, or exposure to an environmental toxin.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Ruth S. Weinstock, MD, PhD
Upstate Medical University, New York