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January 3, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Illinois, USA:

How young can a child get type 1 diabetes? My 3 year old becomes very tired, whiney and slows down until he gets some food in his system. I was seriously gestationally diabetic with him and my husband’s father had Type�1 and died at a young age. I am concerned about him. Should I be concerned?


From: DTeam Staff

In answer to your question, children can get diabetes as any age, even newborns, but the average age of onset is 12-14 years. If you are concerned at all, I would suggest discussing this with your child’s physician. Since your father-in-law had type 1 diabetes, your husband and children would be eligible to participate in the DPT-1 study. This study looks for genetic markers in people with relatives with type 1 diabetes and is part of the future as we look for a way to prevent type 1 diabetes.