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Question:

From Miami, Florida, USA:

I am 23 years old with type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was 17 and have had a hard time keeping my blood sugars steady. My last hemoglobin A1c was 7.7 which isn't too bad, but I am getting married in a few months and my boyfriend and I have been seriously talking about starting a family. I'm very afraid because all this time it's just been me I've had to worry about, but now I'm afraid if I get pregnant I could mess up and hurt our baby and what if the baby develops diabetes? My question is how high honestly, without trying to scare me into being more strict, can my blood sugars get before it really does damage to a fetus and what are the chances that our baby could develop diabetes if there is no history of it on the father's side of the family?

Answer:

The effects of diabetes on a fetus are relative. In general, the better your blood sugar control, the lower the risk of complications. There is no absolute cut-off.

I counsel patients to do the best they can prior to conception (ideally a hemoglobin A1c in the normal range). During the first 10 weeks of pregnancy is the most critical time of development and therefore the time when tight control is most important.

It is difficult to predict the chances of diabetes in your children since the causes of diabetes can be due to many factors.

OWJ

Original posting 22 May 1999
Posted to Family Planning

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:04
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