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February 25, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Perth, Western Australia:

My 12 month old son drinks very large quantities of water and frequently saturates his nappy, even though we change him quite regularly. He has not lost any weight and does not seem excessively hungry. Generally, he is a happy and content baby, but we just cannot understand how he can drink so much water. Should I take him to the doctor for a diabetes test? He has recently changed from formula to cow's milk.

Answer:

From what you say, I don’t get the impression that this is a new phenomenon, so it is extremely unlikely that your son has diabetes. However, it is a very simple matter to have his urine tested. It is also worth mentioning your concerns at his next check-up because there are a few rare conditions associated with excessive drinking. By far, the most likely problem is “habit drinking.”

KJR