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Can a father's diabetes cause birth defects in his children, such as spina bifida?

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Since I have Type 1 diabetes, I was very interested in your question. I did some research and found that the connection between diabetes and spina bifida can be found in the following study:


"The risk of spina bifida increases with diabetes, especially when the mother's blood sugar is elevated early in her pregnancy. Much of this risk is preventable by careful blood sugar control and management."

Hopes this helps.

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

But what about diabetes in the father?  The son of a friend was told that he should not have children since, due to his diabetes, his protein levels are low and his children could be deformed as a result.

Speaking from my personal experience, before my husband and I decided to have children, we went to genetic counseling. We were fortunate to be living in a city that has one of the best know universities in this particular field, and found this to be extremely helpful. We did this over twenty years ago, so I know that today, the information you can get is light years ahead of what they were able to provide us at the time. If you haven't done this, I strongly recommend you do so. Best of luck.

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

Thank you.  My good friend's son has diabetes and was told (by a doctor) that he would have deformed children because his protein level is low.  I'm trying to find out if this is correct.  I've never heard of a man's diabetes causing birth defects in his children.  So it's not for myself.

I am extremely well read when it comes to diabetes and its complications for obvious reasons. There is diabetes on both sides of my family, and I am unaware of what your friend's doctor said, but I am not a doctor. One last thing I would like to mention; other excellent sources of information include the Joslin Medical Center in Boston, the American Diabetes Association, and many diabetes web sites where you can talk to people who are more familiar with this problem them I am.

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

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