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The Autoimmunity’s Footprint in Pediatrics: Type 1 Diabetes, Coeliac Disease, Thyroiditis
Pediatric autoimmune diseases are generally rare and when they occur, they might represent a diagnosis and treatment challenge. Many pediatric systemic autoimmune diseases are different from adults’ diseases, thus turning into a special problem for the physicians and researchers attending the children affected by these diseases. The most frequent autoimmune diseases of children and teenagers are represented by type 1 diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease and coeliac disease. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is the most frequent chronic endocrine-metabolic disease of the child, affecting each race and nationality; its incidence is increasing annually, acquiring a “pandemic” character. Coeliac disease appears more frequently in patients with diabetes mellitus rather than in general population (9% versus 2%) and in 10% of all thyroiditis cases there is an association with type 1 diabetes comparing to 6% on the general population. The family members of children with diabetes are also susceptible of presenting manifestations of certain autoimmune diseases comparing to the general population.
We shall present three cases of patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus from an early age, with their disease becoming associated with coeliac disease, thyroiditis and even vitiligo over time. It should be mentioned that in one case, the same autoimmune manifestations were also identified in the father.
Keywords: children, type 1 diabetes, autoimmunity, coeliac disease, thyroiditis