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August 4, 2004

Family Planning, Other

Question from Keighley, West Yorkshire, England:

I am 23 years old I have had type 1 diabetes for eight years. I was given the go ahead nine months ago to conceive, but now I cannot do so. I have been pregnant twice before and got pregnant straight away, but I had miscarriages at three months due to a hormone imbalance. Now, for the last three months, I have had severe abdominal pain, generally feel awful, constant diarrhea and lost 2 stones (about 28 pounds) but, yet, I manage to keep my blood sugar levels in range. I am also vomiting and can't stand anything to eat. I have never had ketones, but, at the moment, everyday I test and it's like a roller coaster. I have them and then I don't. So, I'm living off Lucozade and insulin and the occasional bowl of soup. The only time I have ever been in hospital is when I was diagnosed; I am scared of them. The doctor said he thinks I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and tried putting me in hospital, but I went home instead. How will IBD affect me? Is this why I can't get pregnant? I also suffer from migraines and stress headaches and take pizotifen for this. What should I do?

Answer:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) generally refers to either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These conditions are associated with inflammatory lesions within the gut. The location is dependant upon the type of IBD. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bowel obstruction, pain, and bloody diarrhea. Medication can make it better. However, depending upon which type of IBD you may have, surgery is a possibility. However, it is important for you to go through the tests to determine if you have this. Sometimes, it doesn’t get better unless you are treated. Anything that quiets this down will probably help your diabetes. It may be a problem that has prevented you from being able to conceive. Anything that causes stress may prevent ovulation. It doesn’t sound like you can go on indefinitely the way you are going now. I hope your physicians can pinpoint the problem so you and your family can get on with your lives.

JTL