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November 28, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Duluth, Georgia, USA:

For the last month, my three year old grandson has been very thirsty and frequently goes to the restroom. We really began noticing it when he started playing organized soccer and was unable to play because he had to go to the restroom three times in an hour. He does not go a small amount. Each time is like a normal amount. Now, the day care is commenting that he is unable to participate in class activities due to the number of times he goes to the bathroom. His father left him when he was three months old and has not been back seen since, but we do know he had diabetes, his mother had diabetes, and his grandmother had diabetes. We just do not know if it was type 1 or type 2. My daughter is taking my grandson to the doctor for a test. Because of the family history, he has been tested before and it was negative. If this test is negative also, is it still possible he has diabetes? Is there another test that could be done instead of the urine test? If so, should my daughter push for the additional testing? My grandson also has asthma and has had stomach surgery due to reflux. He has been on several medications in his three years including prednisone, and I wonder if any of these medications could increase his risk of developing diabetes.


You are correct that he needs to be tested for diabetes. Urine testing for diabetes is the most effective way to screen children for diabetes. Your physician may or may not wish to run some blood tests also. If the tests are negative, he may wish to have you screen your son’s urine at home for the next few months. The medications he has been on in the past few years should have no effect on his risk for diabetes now.