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From Hazard, Kentucky, USA:

My 24 year old husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about five months ago and has a strong family history of diabetes, including a first cousin who died of complications. We are expecting our first child any day now. After informing our chosen pediatrician about our family history of type 1 diabetes, can I expect or ask for regular monitoring of our children's sugar levels? Is that routinely done?


The risk that your baby will develop type 1 diabetes in the first twenty years of his/her life is only a little over 5%, so I don't think that any routine blood sugars are called for. In any case, they are often erroneously high in small children because of stress, and they only become consistently abnormal when practically all the insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed.

You may want to talk to the pediatrician about a number of tests that can be done to define the risk more closely, but even if you know that the chances of diabetes are more than 5%, there is little that can be done to delay matters. Just be sure the doctor knows the family history and you are familiar with the clinical symptoms.


Original posting 20 Sep 2001
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


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