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August 22, 2006

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Question from Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA:

My son has a low IGF and will soon undergo growth hormone testing. Diabetes runs in my family. My sister died from diabetes when she was 18. Can a low IGF contribute to problems other than growth? I am worried about him also becoming diabetic because he does not produce enough IGF.

Answer:

The low IGF is not at all likely a reflection of current or future diabetes, but mostly reflects either nutrition (in a very broad sense) or more worrisome, lack of growth hormone production of some sort. Growth hormone treatment, if he needs it, theoretically can raise blood glucose levels and include diabetes, but this is extraordinarily rare. However, you should most definitely discuss these concerns with your endocrine team since they will know exactly what risks are involved, have all the current test information, results, etc. You should also be sure to review the specific family history as well.

SB