Can an embryo have diabetes if the mother does not?

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Yes, it is possible for an embryo to have type I diabetes if the mother does not; this would be a very rare situation, but it can happen. There are several forms of type I diabetes. In the most common form, an autoimmune condition causes the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas to stop functioning. This condition usually occurs after birth, so it can happen to a child who has a healthy mother.

Several mutations have been identified that can also cause type I diabetes. While these are uncommon, they could originate in a DNA change at or just after conception making the child's pancreas unable to produce insulin correctly, which would result in an embryo with diabetes. Before the baby is born, its blood sugar levels would be naturally controlled by the mother's body, but the child would need medical intervention after it was born.