Chances of passing on diabetes to your children

So lately I've been doing a bit of research and reading about the chances of your children getting type 1 if you have it.  I was diagnosed just last August with type 1 diabetes and my husband has had dibetes since he was 9.  We are thinking about starting a family within the next year or two and so I thought I would see what the chances are of passing on diabetes to our children.  I read from the American Diabetes Association website that if both you and your partner have type 1 diabetes that the chance of your child getting it are between 1 in 10 and 1 in 4.  I never realized that the chances were so high.  This upset me a  bit because I really wouldn't want to have to see my child go through having to deal with diabetes.  I know it isn't a death sentence and you can manage it but I just feel like its hard for a child to have to deal with that and I think I would somehow feel bad if my child developed it, almost like it was my fault or something (stupid I know).  I talked to my husband about it and he said that if it were to happen we would deal with it and that our child would have 2 parents that would know what he or she was going through and would be able to help him or her.  I guess I just wanted to know how many of you have children that have been diagnosed with diabetes?

Amy...there are many forums on this subject and also many blogs.  I cannot remember where they are, but I am sure if you do a search, you will get some of your questions answered.  Good Luck with your plans!  I am sure you will make the right decision!  I have opted to not have children of my own.  Probably for most of the same reason as you....but I have been blessed with two stepdaughters....I consider them every bit my own:D  And remember, there's always adoption!

I was diagnosed at age 6 and my daughter was at age 3. My second daughter has not shown any signs yet but I am very nervous. I did feel very guilty at first, but now I use it as a tool to work with Courtney and help her understand. She is only 5 but we do things like check our blood together and compete to see who has a better number. And we change our pump sites usually at the same time. I got over the guilt and use it as a positive. I let her make decisions, with my help of course.

It's a hard thing for sure and I think every parent (whether diabetic themselves or not) feels guilty when their kid is first diagnosed.  I think your husband is probably right, your kid would be very lucky to have two parents who know what it's like.  I think of it this way, would I have wanted my mom to decide to not have kids if she knew they'd end up with diabetes?!  Heck no! I like my life and I love my brother - I'm glad we're both here! Even if we do have to deal with this stupid disease.

I'm not sure about that but what I have heard is that it skips a generation. So my kids wont have it but most likely their kids will.

Hi Brookel:

I was told that when I was diagnosed, too.  And, that appeared true for me:  my grandfather had it, and now I have it.  Unfortunately, the "skips a generation" assumption has turned out to be incorrect.  Heredity is not the only trigger for the disease.  There are also plenty of parents on Juvenation who can tell you firsthand that this isn't the case - as their children, too, have T1.

diabetes has skipped and affected every-other generation in my grandpas side of the family for 4 generations now... weird, but I'm hoping that means my kids won't have it...

I have two children, 30 and 32.  Not diabetic.

I have two children, 30 and 32.  Not diabetic.

I work in the medical field, and let me tell you that diabetes "skipping a generation" is absurd! That is an old wives tale. Please check your facts, it's not a hard thing to look up. BTW, I am a diabetic, my Dad is and all 3 of my children! No skipping there!

@Royce, while the research definitely backs up that it doesn't skip a generation, scientists don't know everything about it's onset or subsets of the disease yet. I wouldn't say anything is absurb -- just that our current research doesn't back it up.

@Amy, it sounds like you have a tough decision. Mine was easier b/c my husband doesn't have T1. But, deciding to have kids w/ T1 is stressful even thinking about possible side-effects, forget the fear of passing on the D. Obviously, you do the best to control your sugars etc. But, what was also important to me was coming to terms with my decision no matter what. So, even if my child got T1, or was born with a D-pregnancy related complication, I came to the decision that I would love him/her no matter what (obviously, lol) and wouldn't second guess my decision later. It helped me when less-then-knowledgeable doctors were implying my baby would be born with all these terrible problems. I knew that even if their stupid predictions came true (not that I thought they would), I would be happy with my decision and glad I had taken the journey I did. I think the same probably goes for adoption which has it's own complications. Good look deciding!

Yes, I am well aware that scientists don't know everything about diabetes ( I've been type 1 for 25 yrs now) I am an RN and a Diabetic Teaching Specialist) I would have to disagree when people say things like " don't worry, it skips a generation" I feel that you shouldn't say things like that. they have no scientific basis. Diabetes NOT skipping a generation is backed by statistics. How exactly would a disease " skip " a generation? Sorry if you don't like my terminology but that is absurd.


Dude, all people are saying is maybe relax a little. this is a support group, not a complaint forum. don't get so worked up about it. we are not saying it's guaranteed to skip, we're just saying it sometimes does.

LOL I'm not worked up at all, but, when someone asks a question, I assume they want a correct answer. Giving out wrong information can be dangerous. A person may not inherit diabetes, that is true, but it is not because " it skipped a generation" they don't get it because of the same reason every other non diabetic out there doesn't get it. You would do well to educate yourself a little and at least have some knowledge of something before you speak.

none of us said that "skipping a generation" was for sure, or that it was confirmed scientifically. we are just saying that from our own experiences, it has sometimes hit every-other generation. and all of us are diabetic or are close to someone diabetic here, so its not like we're completely clueless on the subject. 

I dont think diabetes always comes down to genetics though. There are no records of any one on either of my parents sides of the family having diabetes. Not even distant relatives. I was the first to be diagnosed so Im very curious to see if my children get diagnosed.

Amanda, that's my experience too, and I think a lot of others' on here, that there's no history of T1 in their family. Auto-immune diseases are increasing across the board in the US, and I don't think anyone knows how genetics and environmental factors are playing in exactly. I hope they figure it out soon, though! I was just diagnosed w/ a 2nd auto-immune disease in the past year and would be happy if they stopped coming, lol!!!!

I had heard from multiple resources that certain immunizations could be the cause. because theyre always new, and everything new can have unexpected effects. I did some research, and it seems entirely possible to me.

[quote user="Nicole"]

I had heard from multiple resources that certain immunizations could be the cause. because theyre always new, and everything new can have unexpected effects. I did some research, and it seems entirely possible to me.


I know immunizations have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but there's no reputable studies indicating a lot of the side-effects people say they cause. I hadn't gotten any new vaccines in the month before my 2nd diagnosis myself...

Personally, I wonder about all the chemicals we're dumping into the environment!

Well, some of those vaccines don't show the effects for months or years. kinda like lantus, it breaks down in your body over time. (just, you know, like longer than the 24 hours of lantus)