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February 26, 2002

Gestational Diabetes

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Question from Tucson, Arizona, USA:

My 31 year old husband has type 1 diabetes and a thyroid disorder, his mother and his sister have thyroid disorders, and my 23 year old sister was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (which I have read may be linked to diabetes). We are planning to start a family, and I have been told the risk of his passing diabetes on to a child is roughly 6%, but does the risk of our children developing the other diseases increase?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Autoimmune thyroid disease, the most common cause of low thyroid conditions in the USA, is more common in families in which the parents have the problem. This also is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. Crohn’s disease is not as tightly linked to type 1 diabetes.

The risk of inheriting thyroid disease is more likely than developing type 1 diabetes. The thyroid problem is easily treated. If these conditions make you anxious, I would see a genetic counselor in your area so that you get a specific risk ascribed to developing these conditions in your children.

JTL