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From Indiana, USA:

My mom thinks that my dad has diabetes (so does everyone else) because it runs in the family really badly, and he has been showing a lot of signs. My nanny had it in her 50s then my grandma had it in her 40s, everyone thinks that my dad has it in his 30s, and now I have been showing some signs and I'm only 13! I crave sugar like no tomorrow. All I will eat is sugar and drink pop. Nothing else satisfies me!

Can you help me and my father? I'm almost positive that my dad has it, but all he does is deny. He says he doesn't have it and that he won't go to the doctor to see if he has it. He won't let my mom read the medical books because she has found a lot of symptoms that he has and he gets mad when she says he has them.


You must be very concerned about your father's health and your own. The only way to diagnose diabetes is with a blood or urine test. Sometimes you can have symptoms similar to diabetes, that turn out to be nothing to worry about, and sometimes they are early warning symptoms. Just craving sweets is not usually a sign of diabetes unless you are also urinating a lot and drinking a lot.

I suggest you try to talk to your father and tell him how worried you are about both him and yourself and ask if you could both see a doctor. If he won't listen, try your mom (tell her about your worries about yourself too). If you don't get anywhere speak to the school nurse or a school counselor.


Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

I imagine that this is causing a lot of stress for you and your family. Not knowing is sometimes more anxiety provoking than knowing. Remember: "Knowledge is Power!"

It usually is so easy these days to find out if someone has diabetes. In a young person such as you, just having a mega-sweet tooth is usually not a classic symptom of diabetes. Usually the symptoms are increased amount and frequency of urination and increased thirst. There can be increases in appetite and often, despite this, weight loss. Testing is simple and usually just requires a morning blood glucose check, before you've had anything to eat since the night before. Sometimes a second test after breakfast may be needed.

Maybe your father is fearful of being diagnosed with diabetes because of the problems he may have seen in his own parent and grandparent. Treatment for many cases of "adult-onset" (properly called type 2 ) diabetes now is much simpler than in previous years with better medications, less likelihood for insulin injections, and more flexible meal plans. Folks with type 1 diabetes do require insulin injections. Maybe if you relay your worries to your dad, that might convince him to go to his doctor. Your mom could call their family doctor and relay her concerns, and then maybe that office can help.


Original posting 20 Nov 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:28
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