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From Washington, USA:

When my daughter was two, the pediatrician thought she had diabetes. She had ketones and sugar in her blood and urine. She was taken to the Barbara Davis Center and checked out. They said she didn't have diabetes. We have moved and not had the same pediatrician. She now is going to an ophthalmologist because she has a cataract in one of her eyes. She just turned seven. I can't keep thinking about the chance of diabetes. Could she have been developing diabetes slowly? Wouldn't she have been very sick? Could the cataract have something to do with this? I didn't know if that could be possible.


There are many reasons that a child could have a cataract. Most often, they are congenital (present at birth). The lens of the eye, clouding of which causes a cataract, is composed of different layers (like an onion) that form at different stages of fetal development, a fact that often allows us to determine at what time the cataract developed. Cataracts caused by diabetes may be due to acute or chronic elevations in blood glucose, but this would be rare in such a young patient. The mere presence of a cataract is not so important as is its severity. A good pediatric eye specialist will give you counsel on whether or not it needs to be removed or is of little threat to vision. The main concern is what's called "occlusion amblyopia," in lay terms, "lazy eye" that develops because the cataract blocks clear vision that allows a child's eye to develop and connect to the brain normally.


Additional comments from Dr. Matthew Brown:

Although there may be some very rare syndromes that associate childhood cataracts with diabetes, those are likely if your daughter does not have diabetes. Without further information, especially about why someone suspected diabetes in your daughter, it would be difficult for me to interpret your individual situation. I would suggest visiting with a board-certified pediatrician for a detailed history and physical examination to review your concerns. They will be able to help you with any further testing that might be necessary.


Original posting 14 Feb 2007
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms and Other


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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