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Re: [IP] Diabetic Gene


At 14:44 5/19/98 EDT, you wrote:
>This is a two-part question:
>I am the only type I diabetic in my family. The only other known diabetic is
>my grandfather who was type II. On that side alone there were 29
>and 22 great grandchildren. Myself being one of the grandchildren am the only
>diabetic. Are the two types related?

Not per se, other than the fact that they both involve impaired glucose
uptake by the body's cells.

>Type I is an auto-immune difficency, right? Is type II the same?

Yes, Type I is an autoimmune disease.  Type II seems to be more of an
insulin resistivity issue, since the beta cells (initially, at least) are
able to produce insulin, but not in sufficient quantities to overcome the
body's resistance to it.  They eventually become exhausted, but are not
actually killed off as they are in Type I.

>Second question:
>Although I've been trying to conceive for 3 years, I am now considering
>adoption only. I cry every time I read about these kids with diabetes. I
>hate to pass on the "diabetic gene". I hate this disease. I can't imagine the
>horror of passing this on.
>What are the chances of passing it on?

Last I read, the chances of having a first-degree relative (father, mother,
sibling, or child) who also has the bad gene is something like 6%.  I'm no
statistician, but this seems like a reasonably low figure to me, especially
if you don't already have a large number of first-degree relatives.

I sure hope I'm right, because my son (now 8 years old) does not show any
signs of the disease as yet.  We have him tested yearly for Islet-Cell
Autoantibodies (ICAs), and so far the tests have all been negative.  This
screening, by the way, is free of charge, since it is part of the Diabetes
Prevention Trial (DPT-1).  The idea behind the DPT-1 is that there is some
evidence that the administration of supplemental (long-lasting) insulin
early in the beta-cell destruction phase (which takes several years) may
delay or prevent the onset of the disease.  ICAs detected in the blood are
an indication, but not a guarantee, that the person will eventually develop
Type I diabetes.

Having a child (vs. adoption) is an entirely personal decision, and must be
based upon many factors in your life, of which diabetes is one.  I hope you
find this information helpful in coming to your decision.  I wish I could
point you to more resources, but I don't have my browser links here.  If
you want to do some research, you might start with www.castleweb.com.


Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
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