Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

Infections carried by a wild animal may cause an auto-immune reaction in susceptible individuals, leading researchers to think type 1 diabetes might be the result of an infection.

This new study of children with type 1 diabetes in North-East England concluded the disease distribution was similar to that of the common flu. By studying diagnostic patterns, researchers began to notice clusters of diagnoses throughout the year and began to think type 1 diabetes may be spread by an infectious agent, according to the Diagnostic patterns began to emerge for researchers with predictable ebbs and flows.

"The pattern suggested an infection carried by a wild animal which triggered an auto-immune reaction in susceptible individuals," according to the The wild animal may simply be a rodent such as rats and mice.

The study's leader Dr. McNally of the University of Newcastle supports research-based evidence that children may be genetically predisposed to type 1 diabetes, but the offending agent may just be an infection.

Because Dr. McNally and his team over a six year period of time found a non-random pattern with infections in these children, their data suggests type 1 diabetes is not occurring by chance but is due in part to an environmental impact or exposure.