How does diabetes cause birth defects?

Metabolism. Diabetes is not a simple disease. It wrecks energy metabollism and has an effect on all our cells. During pregnancy this can affect the fetus since mom feeds baby and the excess sugar has its effect in both mom and baby. That is why good control is essential.
Oxidative stress. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus at the time of conception and the first trimester showers the conceptus with free oxygen radicals (excess oxidative stress). This usually has an all-or-nothing effect <5 weeks (meaning miscarriage vs, no effect at all), however at later gestational age (6-10 weeks) it can cause several anatomical defects such as vsd, caudal regression, spinal defects etc.

Related Questions

Diabetes can make you blind and cause birth defects. Is all this true?

Yes, this is true. Diabetes that is not treated properly can cause problems with your eyes, heart, and kidneys. If you are pregnant and you have diabetes that is not under tight control, your unborn child may develop birth defects and may develop dangerously low blood glucose after delivery. Your obstetrician or primary care doctor can help you keep your sugar levels in a safe range. Read more...

Big baby, birth defects caused by diabetes? What defines macrosomia?

Not just big. Fetal macrosomia can be suspected by serial ultrasound in which the fetus exceeds the 90th percentile. This means that the baby is larger than 89% of the babies of same gestational age. Furthermore"macrocosmic" fetus are at a higher risk of shoulder dystocia (difficulty of delivering shoulders after the head is out) and hypoglycemia or dropping blood sugars shortly after delivery. Read more...

Diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 12 weeks. What level of sugar spike is needed to cause birth defects?

Unknown. In general its not occasional spikes that likely cause these issues. It probably has to do with chronic abnormal sugars. You are almost out of the first trimester, so you are probably ok if it was just a few spikes. However, poor control throughout pregnancy causes lots of issues associated with your delivery, so try to get your sugar control tight so you don't have to worry about that. Read more...
Discuss w/ providers. Your OBGYN and other providers need to clearly explain the situation to you and provide you with info on what to do to avoid problems or what to watch for, when to call them or go to an ER. Working closely w/ them is the very best thing you can do. That way you'll have the safest birth and both you and your baby will be glad to be part of a team. Best wishes. Read more...

What are the odds of birth defects when I have diabetes 1?

Control important! Women with diabetes are considered to have high risk pregnancies to begin with. Plan a pregnancy with your endorinologist and OB for best outcome, as long as you're in good control. Women with pre-existing diabetes have around 4 x risk for fetal birth defects than those without diabetes, most often in spine, brain, and heart. Still, lots of women with well-controlled dm have normal babies. Read more...

I don't have diabetes but I have pcos and I'm 6 weeks pregnant. Is there any thing I can do to prevent birth defects and miscarriage?

Folic acid. Live well, don't smoke, don't consume alcohol or illicit drugs, take a good prenatal supplement containing folic acid. Eat a healthy diet; it may help to go easy on sugary foods and include a good source of protein with every meal. Read more...