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November 24, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Genetics and Heredity

Question from Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada:

My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven years ago at age 30 and has been insulin dependant since. His father was diabetic and has since died due to diabetes related complications. His brother was diagnosed at age 17. We have two children. I never really worried too much with my daughter as she showed no symptoms, but in the last three or four days, my just turning two year old son has started drinking more and urinating more. He is now drinking four or five cups of water a day, when I used to have to try to coax him to drink three cups. He used to only wet three diapers a day maximum, now, it's up to six. I don't know if he's gained weight, but he was eating a lot. Now, he isn't eating as much. I also read that behavior could be a symptom, I have been chalking up his behavior to being two, but should I be more concerned since his father is a diabetic and it runs in the family so strongly? Is he more at risk since his father, uncle and grandfather were/are diabetic and he is also male? Since his uncle and father and grandfather were diagnosed later, would it be more realistic that he have diabetes later in his life or not at all?

Answer:

Yes, the risk is higher with such a strong family history and you should seek medical advice about your son immediately. He can be tested quickly and easily.

KJR