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February 17, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Washington, North Carolina, USA:

I was involved in a car accident in 1998 during which my pancreas was severed, I had half of it removed, and I was told there was a high possibility I would develop diabetes later in life. My husband and I tried for almost four years to conceive a child with no luck. I would not ovulate without the use of fertility drugs, but we finally tried in-uterine insemination with drugs, and it worked. During my first trimester of pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes, and after having much difficulty maintaining my sugar levels, the doctor asked me if I thought it possible I had diabetes prior to pregnancy. My daughter is almost seven weeks old now, and I am on oral medication for diabetes, which seems to work well. Could untreated diabetes been the reason for not ovulating?

Answer:

Clearly, pregnancy is an additional stress that brings out diabetes in susceptible individuals. You might be susceptible for a lot of reasons, including your injury, a family history, lifestyle, etc. The only way to know for sure is have had testing performed prior to the pregnancy. If the gestational diabetes occurred before the 20th week, it may be a clue that your diabetes may have been present before pregnancy. However, this is only a guess.

JTL