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Agent Orange & type 1 diabetes
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Agent Orange & type 1 diabetes

The VA is claiming I have type 1 diabetes and thus they are not responsible.  I was 29 and 2 years back from Vietnam (III corps area, which was the most heavily sprayed area in Vietnam) when I was diagnosed.  My diagnosis was type II and I took Orinease (no insulin) for the first 2 to 2 1/2 years and was fine on this (some high sugars but overall within an acceptable range).  Sometime between the 2nd and 3rd year my sugars went up and my doctor added long acting insulin (1 shot in the am) which brought things under control.

My doctor says agent orange does not cause type 1 diabetes, but when I pressed him about the dioxin exposure triggering it he said it could have but also says it could have been caused by a cold, but says he is not convinced that agent orange even causes type 2.  He acts as if he does not care, making me feel the government is simply using the numbers game (not enough people who were in Vietnam and later developed type 1 diabetes) to deny coverage.  I am only asking for medical coverage and perhaps some admission that it may not have been all my fault that I got diabetes as my wife seems to think.

Is it possible that I had type 2 diabetes that somehow turned into type 1?  Is there any definitave test that would determine what type of diabetes I had at age 29 (I am now 66)?

There are several stories on the web about people who were in Vietnam and later developed type 1 diabetes.  Please contact me if you are, or know someone who fits this category.  Thanks in advance!  ***@****  
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't know anything about Agent Orange and diabetes. Perhaps you can do a search on it. I also belong to a website with 15,000 members and if you send me a private message I'll give you that site as there are many more diabetics (and the people they may know) that might have some information.

As for your type> Type 2 diabetes does not " turn into" Type 1. However, it is now known that between 10 and 20% of Type 2's were misdiagnosed and are actually something called LADA which is a slow onset form of Type 1. The fact that you only maintained on oral meds for 2-3 years makes it sound like you might be LADA which they knew nothing about back then. Were you normal weight then? Did you have any other autoimmune disease (such as thyroid). Those are common signs of LADA. The only definitive test for Type (especially this long after diagnosis) is the GAD antibody. Type 2's don't have any antibodies.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was stationed aboard an aircraft carrier in the gulf of Tonkin in 1966. The ship made our own drinking/cooking water from sea water. So everything that washed off the land and into the rivers ended up in the gulf. I am the only one in my family with type one diabetes, which started sometime after separation in June of 68. I have long suspected SOME kind of connection with my military service assignments ( nuclear weapons tech, or A/O). You might want to search bluewaterveterans. Two senators , one being Schumer and Linsay Graham have been pushing for more recognition for Navy vets and service connection problems. Since we weren't boots on the ground, we have been denied benefits. I am looking to make a connection with type 1 diabetes and ANY vets that were exposed to agent orange or any other toxins. As I said above, I am the only family member that was in the military, aboard ship, and in south east asia. Email me at ***@**** if you have any of these same circumstances.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was in Viet Nam in 1968. Quang Tri Province. I was discharged in 1974. I became ill with Diabetes in 1976. I am the only one in my family of 8 kids that aquired Diabetes. Of course I was put on Insulin right away. The VA denied my claim also because they say I have type 1 and the are not responsible. Getting Diabetes Type 1 is due to your immune system killing all the icelet cells in you pancreas. I wonder if Agent Orange had anything to do with that.
Go Figure.
Former Marine, one a Marine always a Marine.
Ooorah!!
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1916673_tn?1388595391
Type 1 diabetes is largely genetic, so my first thoughts are ... did either of your parents or your grandparents have Type 1 diabetes? This would be a major indicator of you having Type 1 as a direct result of genetics, rather than any other influence. Type 2 diabetes can transgress over time into Type 1, simply because the pancreas isn't able to continue producing insulin that the body needs. With the added strain over several years (usually caused through obesity or trauma), the pancreas becomes worn out sooner than in a normal lifespan - and when no insulin is being produced or when the existing cells cannot be encouraged through medication to produce more insulin, Type 1 then materialises. Tony
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a Type 1 diabetic, though I was originally diagnosed as a type 2 by my
GP.  This was in 1989, I was 42 years old.   I served in Vietnam from 3/67 thru 10/68.  The areas I served were Long Binh/Binh Hoa, and Quin Hon.
Both areas were heavily defoilaged by Agent Orange, just prior to my arrival.  I'm 100% certain of my exposure to it.
I have no family history of diabetes, other than a step sister who was obese and is now under control with diet and exercise.

I applied for benefits back in 2004.  My endocrinologist wrote the report on
my medical condition and listed me as a type 1 diabetic, so I was rejected.
I recently started using the VA for some benefits and in my initial visit with my doctor there, she said if I could come up with the paperwork from my first diagnosis, she could guarantee I would be able to get at least 30% or more in disability for Agent Orange exposure.  I am in the process of doing this. Problem being my original doctor has long left the area and practice.  The practice has gone through 4 other doctors since.  The do have the records archived and it's just the problem of getting them and going through things.   I guess I would have thought that filing something my name and year would have been normal, but apparently not.
I will let you know how I progress on this.  It's not that I need the money, but being Type 1 and on a pump, there are a lot of bills that aren't covered by my HMO.
I wish you all well
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