Pregnant - genetics & chances of baby developing diabetes?

Hi all,

I am currently 26 weeks pregnant today, and have been reading quite alot about heredity and the chances that my baby will develop diabetes in her life. We decided to start TTC to conceive with the knowlege that our baby’s chances of getting diabetes are low (1 in 100). I have read that for moms under the age of 25 the chances are 1 in 25 and go up to 1 in 100 for older moms (I am 35).

Anyone know why this is? I know this is a complicated topic but I can’t seem to get definitive answers from the web and my doc didn’t know much either. Wouldn’t it mean that for a Type 1, it would be better to wait to have children until an older age to decrease the chances that a child will get diabetes in life?

I just read this and I thought it was wierd too! Any reasons behind the facts would be extremely useful!
BTW, I am reading Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-existing Diabetes by Cheryl Alkon. I highly recommend it!!

Hey! congratulations!! I’m at week 22, type 1 for 13 years. I read that same study that said anyone over the age of 25 decreases the risk of baby developing Type 1 to 1 in 100. So… I waited til I was 26 to TTC. :slight_smile:

I dont know if it holds any truth. The cause of Type 1 is still undetermined if genetic, or environmental. For example, I’m the only Type 1 in my bloodline. Does that mean my family carried the genes for Type 1 for hundreds of years and it just never came out until me? Or maybe it was the combination of my mother and father’s genes that created the Type 1? If so, then why didn’t my brother or sister develop it?

So, I’m not sure about the truths in this theory. I’m hoping with everything that I’ve got that my baby doesn’t develop Type 1. It would kill me inside and I KNOW that I would blame myself- even though I know it wouldn’t really be my “fault”.

Thanks for the praise!


Congratulations and very interesting info! I had not heard that stat - and thankfully I had #1 at 31 and trying for #2 in the coming months. Do you have a link for that study? I am so curious now :slight_smile:

I’m really torn on the issue of hereditary vs environmental factors as the cause of type 1. Both my mom and my only sibling have type 1 (we were born when my mom was 31 and 34) but we are the only ones in our extended family with T1. I hear lot of stories like this.

Of course we hope the best for our children, but cannot control the outcome. All we can do is strive for great diabetes control, a balanced life and a future that is free from diabetes :slight_smile:

All my best to you!!

A good topic!

I asked my doctor, and the response that my child could possibly develop T1 was the same as the rest of the population. I think she said 1 in 100. The only time it would change is if the father had T1 or if I was under 25 and conceived. Kinda the same info said already. I don’t know how much truth is in that, but I do like the figures.

Though now after researching a bit more, I found on the Joslin website this statement: (not reassuring if you have another immune disorder)

“About 1 in 7 people with type 1 has a condition known as type 2 polyglandular autoimmune syndrome. In addition to type 1 diabetes, these people have thyroid disease, malfunctioning adrenal glands and sometimes other immune disorders. For those with this syndrome, the child’s risk of having the syndrome, including type 1 diabetes, is 1 in 2, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA)”

I think that this picks up on the fact that there are likely multiple causes of type 1. Some of those causes may have stronger genetic links than others.

There was a discussion about type 2 polyglandular autoimmune syndrome in the main TuD forum a while ago. This means having all three autoimmune conditions – thyroid condition, autoimmune kidney disease, and type 1 diabetes. This “syndrome”, which is the combination of these conditions, is thought to be highly genetic. Similarly MODY is a type of diabetes which also seems to have a much stronger link.

So I think in the end we can’t really know unless we know the degree that genetics was involved in our diabetes diagnosis. I don’t spend too much time thinking about this because I hope that the chances are low that our child will develop diabetes, but I also figure that if he does, then he will have awesome, caring parents that will help him live his life to the fullest with type 1!

You all talk about this study, but i didn’t manage to find out WHY do the say the risks are higher when the mom is under 25.
I am 22 years old (type 1 since age 8) and 22 weeks pregnant. I always thought that it would be better to start having kids before i turn 26. One of the reasons is that i don’t have any complications so far. I don’t say that when i will be 30, i will have them, but the risk increases. So what is better, having a pregnancy at 22, with no complications of diabetes, or having it at 32 with some diabetic complications?

Thanks Lisa :slight_smile:

I read those statistics in a few places, most notably on the ADA website: I am not certain what kinds of studies were done to come up with those numbers though.

I am one of those who has no one in her family with diabetes (that I know of), so I always wonder if there was a childhood virus that could have triggered it for me. I was diagnosed later, at age 24.

Congrats :slight_smile:

That’s a great point! Also, I think doctors tend to prefer diabetic mothers to be younger (under 35?) because at that age the chances for birth defects start to increase, and diabetics have a greater chance to have children with certain birth defects.

So, it’s tricky to think about what’s the best thing to do! We just happened to start TTC later, really because I felt like my clock was ticking and we were ready.

I also read that breastfed babies have a lower chance of developing type 1 -

I was planning on it anyway, but this just makes me even more determined to breastfeed :slight_smile:

I totally agree - if our baby did happen to get diabetes, we would do such a great job because we have dealt with it our whole lives!

I ordered it the week I found out I was pregnant! It’s so helpful :slight_smile: