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November 6, 2002

Other Illnesses

Question from Cairo, Egypt:

Before diagnosis of his type 1 diabetes about wight months ago, my 10 year old son had a habit of scratching his penis in the bed mattress, and after the diagnosis I read that this was related to diabetes. These days he started to do the same thing again.Do you think that he has something serious in his sexual area? Is there any testing he needs, knowing that his blood sugar is well controlled?


He may have a yeast infection in the area. I’d ask his doctor to examine him to see if he needs any medication to clear it up.

Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

Unless he had a yeast or other fungal infection around the penis, it is not likely the diabetes is causing this problem. You should have your son’s diabetes care team examine his penis and make sure that there is no infection, especially if he is not circumcised. By the way, if glucose levels are in reasonable control, then we usually do not see much genital infection.


[Editor’s comment: If your son isn’t really itching, he may be masturbating in his sleep, which is normal behavior for a 10 year old boy.