Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Cold Virus May Trigger Type 1 Diabetes

Children With Diabetes 10 Times More Likely to Have Enterovirus Infection

The Search for a Type 1 Vaccine continued...

“There are more than 100 strains of enteroviruses, but probably only a handful are associated with type 1 diabetes,” she says.

Virologist Didier Hober, MD, PhD, of France’s University Lille says other important questions remain about enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes, such as whether the virus is involved in all or just some cases of the disease.

He says patients who tested negative for the virus in past studies may have actually had the infection at levels that were too low to detect.

Hober says the enterovirus connection may also explain the dramatic rise in type 1 diabetes in higher-income countries like the U.S. and European countries.

The thinking is that improved hygiene has left babies more vulnerable to assaults from viruses like enterovirus because mothers today pass on fewer protective antibodies than were passed on by past generations of mothers.

If enteroviruses play a big role in type 1 diabetes, the so-called "hygiene hypothesis" could explain why disease rates have not risen in poorer, less industrialized countries, he tells WebMD.

Looking for Other Diabetes Triggers

While enteroviruses may prove to be an important environmental trigger for type 1 diabetes, it is not likely to be the only one, Seattle endocrinologist William Hagopian, MD, PhD, tells WebMD.

Very early exposure to cow’s milk and early exposure to gluten have also been linked to type 1 diabetes in some studies.

Hagopian is leading a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that will closely follow a large group of high-risk newborns from the U.S., Finland, Germany, and Sweden through childhood and into early adulthood in an effort to determine if these environmental exposures or others play a role in type 1 diabetes.

“We are going to cast a very large net in an effort to identify the triggers that lead to this disease,” he tells WebMD. “We will be looking at the potential triggers that have been on our radar, and we will also be looking for those we may not know about.”

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner