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July 2, 1999

Complications, Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Beirut, Lebanon:

I am 13 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at around age seven. I have recently noticed that almost every morning I find ketones in my urine. Is there a way to prevent this? Also, I've been hearing a lot about impotence and it is kind of worrying. How can this be prevented?

Answer:

First of all, don’t worry. Clearly you are in puberty and this period of development is usually associated with high sugars (and often ketones) before breakfast. Discuss your blood sugars/ketones with your diabetes doctor who will be well used to adjusting insulin doses and regimens for people in puberty.

Impotence is of course a worry and does sometimes occur in men with diabetes. Quite probably a number of them would have become impotent even without diabetes and the relationship is not always clear. The best advice that I can offer is that you don’t worry and look after your diabetes properly. By doing this you will minimise the chances of the complications of diabetes.

KJR