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June 10, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from La Paz, Mexico:

My 11 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after being in severe DKA two months ago, and now he is only on 5 units of NPH in the morning. If his antibodies are negative, does this mean he does not have an autoimmune disease?

Answer:

If your son’s antibodies are negative, this doesn’t mean that your son doesn’t have type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes because, taking into consideration the preclinical phase generally is lasts much shorter in children than in adults, autoantibodies might have been already disappeared at this clinical stage. Anyhow, the final diagnosis depends on clinical judgement.

MS