The cause of my diabetes?

By VanessaCasanova Latest Reply 2014-05-24 19:58:17 -0500
Started 2014-05-20 03:10:52 -0500

During my first semester of college, I had some problems with Benadryl pills; long story short, I was overusing them, to say the least. I had a lot of issues back then but things are much better now. Anyway, I had to stop eventually, and about half a year later or so, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Nobody else in my family has diabetes, except my grandmother who has Type 2. I'm almost convinced that if it wasn't for the amount of pills I took, which was around 100 or so at once over an extended period of time, I wouldn't have ended up with the disorder. Does anybody have any thoughts on this or anything that could possibly help me to find out if I'm right/wrong?

19 replies

Type1Lou 2014-05-23 14:10:55 -0500 Report

No one really yet knows what triggers our bodies to destroy the beta-cells that produce insulin. A friend, whose daughter developed Type 1 at age 7, thinks it may have been caused by some pesticide application (this would have been back in the 1960's). I developed mine at age 27 in 1976 , 6 months after separating from my first husband and after having suffered a cold; I was also a unit supervisor with substantial job stress…were the stresses or the cold a factor? Don't really know. In the case of my friend's daughter, her Mom developed her Type 1 at around the same time the daughter did. In my case, my Dad developed diabetes at age 61 in the 1950's; I'm not really sure whether he was a Type 1 or Type 2 but he did take insulin because there were no oral meds available at that time.

VanessaCasanova 2014-05-22 03:43:14 -0500 Report

That's interesting; the idea of a trauma possibly being a trigger for it was similar to my train of thought but I had yet to find someone else who thought that my addiction could be the cause.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-21 21:32:19 -0500 Report

I don't think it matters how you got it. What matters is now that you have it learn all you can about it. What are you going to do if you find out how you got it? You can't reverse it. I think the best thing to do at this point is do all you can to live a healthy productive life with diabetes. Good luck to you.

VanessaCasanova 2014-05-22 03:20:50 -0500 Report

Thanks for the replies, everyone; they were all helpful. I wasn't looking for the cause in hopes that it would fix or change anything, it was just curiosity, I guess. I've accepted having diabetes and I'm learning to deal with it, it just interests me to know how the disorder developed in me and why. I did ask my doctor about it and he told me the pills wouldn't have an effect, but since he couldn't tell me exactly how I got it either, I still had my doubts.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-23 13:33:46 -0500 Report

My parents did not have diabetes and my sister doesn't have it. None of my aunts or uncles had it but a lot of my cousins have it. We don't know why all of us have it and we really don't care. What is important is that some of us take care of ourselves. You got it because as they say it was your turn.

It is good that you have accepted it and learning how to maintain it. I don't use the term dealing with diabetes. That makes it an important factor in my life and I don't want it to be so important that it is my main focus.

GabbyPA 2014-05-21 20:36:14 -0500 Report

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. I don't see how Benadryl would alter that, but pharmaceutical are a mess. Have you asked your doctor about his thoughts on that?

jigsaw 2014-05-21 11:05:24 -0500 Report

I agree with the others here and think their answers are excellent. Put your energy to good use, and learn about your condition. There is much to learn, and many good years ahead for you, if you take care of yourself.

jayabee52 2014-05-20 15:49:21 -0500 Report

Howdy Vanessa
I agree with Steve. It really doesn't matter HOW you got T1D, the fact is, you have it NOW.

Learn all you can about this disease and find out the best to manage your malady.

Ask questions of your Dr, your diabetes care team, and the folks here. Here, of course I believe that the only foolish or stupid questions are HONEST questions which are NOT asked.

God's best to you and yours
James Baker

Young1s 2014-05-20 16:43:23 -0500 Report

Absolutely James. Her doctor and diabetes team is her best friend. Ask as many questions as you have Vanessa. No question is a stupid one. You want to know as much as you can.

haoleboy 2014-05-20 13:00:33 -0500 Report

my thoughts …

Don't worry about the past. Knowing how you got it ain't gonna fix it.

You are not alone. Reach out to others for help. (posting here is a good start)

Learn as much as you can about your adversary (in this case, diabetes).

Focus on what you can do at this moment to make yourself as healthy as possible.

Be forgiving. Start first by forgiving yourself.

Be loving. Start first by loving yourself.

"Do not dwell in the past …
Do not dream of the future…
Concentrate the mind on the present moment."

This is how I deal (successfully) with my various health issues.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-21 21:35:37 -0500 Report

Steve you are on point as usual. How you got it is not going to change the fact that you have it. I totally agree with you. Looking back into the past is not going to fix the problem and it certainly isn't going to reverse it. A person really has to forget the past, live in the present and hope that the future will be brighter.

haoleboy 2014-05-21 22:20:37 -0500 Report

I came to this philosophy when I was in the rehab hospital after my stroke … not knowing if I would ever walk again or return to any form of normalcy really was messing with my head. Once I figured this out I actually started making some real improvement. I think it applies to all chronic maladies and indeed to life in general.


Young1s 2014-05-20 11:54:34 -0500 Report

Hello Vanessa. Welcome to the discussion! I don't know if the pills are necessarily the issue. I can only tell you about my particular situation. Diabetes runs rampant on my moms side. We lost her mom and two of her sisters to this unfortunate condition. My uncle, her twin, is now without 6 toes. I say all this to scare you into doing better by yourself. This "annoyance" is just that, an annoyance. All you have to do now is figure out how to deal with it. Know that you're a fighter and fight. Don't let it get the better of you. I woke up in a hospital because of a pancreatic onset due to years of heavy drinking. I still struggle with it but I'm fighting the good fight. This disease will not get the better of me. And it will not get the better of you. I have 3 words that ring in my ears always…fight, fight, fight!!!

wraithmb 2014-05-20 08:27:15 -0500 Report

I'm glad you made it through the ordeal, I've known people in the past that have died with OTC drug addictions/problems.

I remember a long time ago my doctor telling me that've had diagnosed a number of cases that seemed to happen after a "trauma". In my case he expected that an ear surgery I had 6 months before was the trigger. I was 10 years old and the ear surgery was supposed to be for "exploration". What it ended up being was an 8 hour "holy @$!& this kids ear is BAD". They ended up doing what I think was a mastoidectomy with canal wall up and a canal wall down at the same time. It was just about an 8 hr surgery. 3 months later I started developing symptoms and about 6 months after I was diagnosed.

Long story short, I think it could be the pills that caused it. That big of an OD must put a lot of stress on your body.

wraithmb 2014-05-20 08:29:29 -0500 Report

Oh yeah, my mother was diagnosed shortly after a round of the measles that nearly killed her…(according to my grandmother)