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March 17, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Columbus, Ohio, USA:

My 11 old daughter developed brown colored skin under both armpits which the dermatologist said is associated with people who have diabetes, but she has no symptoms of diabetes. However, three or four times, she was pale when she woke up, and was sweaty and hungry. Does this sound like a sign of diabetes? How do we test for it?


It sounds like this is Acanthosis Nigricans and she may be at risk for developing diabetes because of insulin resistance. Is there a family history of diabetes? Are other family members overweight? Does she have any problems with cholesterol, hypertension, etc.?

I would ask your daughter’s pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist who can determine if there is a problem.


[Editor’s comment: See What You Need to Know about Type 2 Diabetes in Children.