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June 3, 2008

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Other

Question from Peabody, Massachusetts, USA:

I take care of a two-year-old. I have successfully potty trained her, but it wasn't easy. This little one can eat and drink more than any two-year-old I have ever seen. She is petite. I don't think she is losing weight, but, by the way she eats, she should be obese. She will drink about 4 ounces and within 15 minutes she needs to void. I try to limit her food and drink and give her lots of water. She hates water and mostly always craves juice (but, I force her to drink water) and any sweets she can get her hands on. She will steal food every chance she gets. She voids all day long. I have told her mom my concerns over and over she is finally realizing her daughter has a problem. Her mom is borderline diabetic and her aunt and grandmother are on insulin. How can I encourage her mom without sounding like I am nagging? I feel so bad for the little one. She also has an eight-year-old brother who weighs 130 pounds. She always had soiled diapers and I thought she had a problem then. Her aunt did a glucose test on her it was 130 mg/dl [7.2 mmol/L]. Is that normal for a two-year-old?

Answer:

You sound like a very concerned caretaker. I would continue to tell this child’s mother your concerns and suggest that she make an appointment with the child’s pediatrician so these concerns can be discussed. I wonder if the child’s mother would let you help make the appointment?

DB
Additional comments from Dr. Matthew Brown:

This sounds like behavior that could represent an illness, even, perhaps, diabetes. The child would benefit from a thorough history and physical examination by a pediatrician. Your concerns should also be discussed at that visit.

MSB

[Editor’s comment: You may wish to read more of our previous questions on the Diagnosis and Symptoms of diabetes.
BH]