What Caused My Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes (previously referred to as Juvenile Diabetes) has been around since ancient times, but patients always died shortly after diagnosis. I am glad to be living in a time where we are now able to live full, generally healthy lives!

Diabetes diagnosisAfter my diagnosis last year, I researched what could have caused my condition. The exact cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unknown, but there seems to be 2 main factors:


Through an organization called  TrialNet, tests are available globally to check whether a person has this gene mutation. I am encouraging my daughter to take their test.

After my diagnosis, I learned that the Type 1 Diabetes gene mutation is in my family history. I didn’t learn this until after my diagnosis.


For those that have the gene, a trauma or viral infection are common triggers for the initial development of Type 1 Diabetes. I had the flu immediately preceding my initial diabetes diagnosis.

It’s a fact that Type 1 Diabetes is NOT caused by eating too much sugar or by having a sedentary lifestyle.  However, during the months preceding initial diabetes diagnosis, I drank A LOT of rum and was eating an unusual amount foods that spike blood sugar, such as pineapple and potatoes.

I asked myself this question:

If I hadn’t been consuming an abundance of alcohol and high-glycemic foods, would I have Type 1 Diabetes?

The gene and the flu were all I needed to initiate the disease. However, I wonder if my lifestyle at the time is what allowed the flu to compromise my immune system.  I may never know for sure.


  1. Hi Libby,

    I just discovered your site from a post on Jim Collins about full time hotel living.

    We’re a family of five (kids 16, 15 and 10) living in hotels while we slow travel the world. We need two rooms most places. We’re at the Marriott in Quito Ecuador right now. In a couple of days we head to the Amazon and then to Panama City for some more hotel living. IHG PointBreaks. Sadly you gave the IHG hotels the lowest ranking. Ah well. Almost free is good. Starwood is my favourite hotel brand.

    I love your hotel living posts and was struck by the Type I info you post. Especially the genetic predisposition. Diabetes was eliminated for me years ago to diagnose hypoglycaemia. But we have (had) similar lifestyle. Makes me wonder.

    Love your blog!


  2. This may be my favorite post ever…. I was so surprised at a sudden Type 1 (LADA) diagnosis just 6 months after my yearly physical that I spent a lot of time wondering what “caused” this. My doctor said: Stress. Oh, that?! I am still working at the source of my stress (the stories I could tell you…) my job, but the fact that the two people who were causing most of my stress are GONE and my new boss is AWESOME makes me think I can put in another 2.5 years to be able to retire and get Medicare. It’s still stressful, but I have definitely changed my perspective on how much of it I have to take responsibility for — none of it! Or at least that is my mantra… Thank you for your posts Ms Libby…When I grow up, I want to be just like you. Signed — Still Growing

    • Thank you for your sweet comment, Susan!
      I am so happy that those yucky primary stress sources are gone. Hooray for awesome bosses… they are so rare. Keep on staying positive. ❤️

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