Jun
08
2011

LIVING WITH DIABETES: MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN

LIVING WITH DIABETES: MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN
Should people with diabetes marry? Can they hope to raise families of their own? Marriage to someone with diabetes requires some special adjustments that many people have made successfully. It is a matter of being willing to make the effort. The couple should have frank and open discussions beforehand, about what the treatment of the disease entails and the possibility that complications might develop in the future.
Should people with diabetes marry each other? Specialists used to say no, believing there was a high risk that children might inherit the disease. But most young diabetes patients who are thinking about getting married and having children have Type I rather than Type II diabetes. Now that studies have indicated that heredity does not play the major role in this form of the disease it was formerly thought to have, there seems little reason to discourage such marriages. In fact, some counselors suggest that if two people with diabetes marry each other, they will find it easier to adjust, because both of them already know what living with the disease involves.
Is it safe for people with diabetes to have children? There is no reason why a man with diabetes should not father a child. For a woman the problem is a bit more complicated. Modern treatment methods have greatly increased the chances for a woman with diabetes to bear a normal, healthy child. But the rate of death of babies both before and soon after their birth is still somewhat higher than normal. The disease itself also becomes more difficult to control during pregnancy—the body’s need for insulin increases, and the woman must be carefully watched by her doctor to avoid possible complications that might threaten her or her child. Doctors recommend getting the blood sugar level under strict control well before becoming pregnant, and monitoring it carefully during the pregnancy. A pregnant woman with diabetes may have to undergo frequent and expensive tests to determine how well her baby is growing and when it should be delivered.
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Should people with diabetes marry? Can they hope to raise families of their own? Marriage to someone with diabetes requires some special adjustments that many people have made successfully. It is a matter of being willing to make the effort. The couple should have frank and open discussions beforehand, about what the treatment of the disease entails and the possibility that complications might develop in the future.
Should people with diabetes marry each other? Specialists used to say no, believing there was a high risk that children might inherit the disease. But most young diabetes patients who are thinking about getting married and having children have Type I rather than Type II diabetes. Now that studies have indicated that heredity does not play the major role in this form of the disease it was formerly thought to have, there seems little reason to discourage such marriages. In fact, some counselors suggest that if two people with diabetes marry each other, they will find it easier to adjust, because both of them already know what living with the disease involves.
Is it safe for people with diabetes to have children? There is no reason why a man with diabetes should not father a child. For a woman the problem is a bit more complicated. Modern treatment methods have greatly increased the chances for a woman with diabetes to bear a normal, healthy child. But the rate of death of babies both before and soon after their birth is still somewhat higher than normal. The disease itself also becomes more difficult to control during pregnancy—the body’s need for insulin increases, and the woman must be carefully watched by her doctor to avoid possible complications that might threaten her or her child. Doctors recommend getting the blood sugar level under strict control well before becoming pregnant, and monitoring it carefully during the pregnancy. A pregnant woman with diabetes may have to undergo frequent and expensive tests to determine how well her baby is growing and when it should be delivered.
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