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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?


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.