March 21, 2006
Question from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, USA:
I have a question that involves myself, my five year old son, and my one and a half year old daughter. In March of 2004, my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after having a respiratory virus. Looking back, he had demonstrated symptoms even before the virus, but the virus was the last straw. He is doing fairly well. At the time of his diagnosis, I was six months pregnant. Just prior to my induced delivery at 35 weeks, in July 2004, I turned yellow with jaundice. The doctor said I had “fatty acid of the liver of pregnancy,” and, luckily, I pulled through following liver and kidney failure. I went to the ICU and took the rest of the summer to recover. My daughter was delivered with no complications to her and appears to be developing typically. I know fatty acid of the liver of pregnancy is very rare, but I’m curious if there is any link to this complication of pregnancy and autoimmune disorders?
I had a very uncomplicated first pregnancy with my now eight year old daughter and a more carefully monitored pregnancy with my son, who developed diabetes, and an even more carefully monitored pregnancy with my younger daughter. In my second and third pregnancies, a hormone on the Down’s screening came back high. For my younger daughter, it was the Hcg level. Anyway, between my second and third pregnancies, they thought I was displaying symptoms that were in the lupus family, but they disappeared before I was pregnant with my younger daughter and have not returned. Since there seem to be so many autoimmune issues in our family, should I be monitoring my younger daughter somehow?
You ask very good questions, but you need to ask these of your internist and obstetrician and perhaps also your children’s pediatrician since you need more specific diagnosis of your own problems and then some review of whether or not this is an autoimmune type of liver disorder. There are some illnesses like this, but usually these are not related to autoimmune endocrine and similar problems like type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, etc.The simple answer is that these are not related to risks for your child but your own doctors can better know this with the details of your own illnesses. Glad that you have recovered and that you delivered a healthy baby despite this!