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February 16, 2003

Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Malaysia:

My 12 year old adopted sister, who has had type 1diabetes since she was seven, complains of severe vague abdominal pain almost every day. Because of the problem, she always skips school, and much of her time is spent living in hospital. She claims to be compliant with insulin injections. What would cause this to happen in this young girl?

Answer:

Your adopted sister’s complaint of abdominal pain is rather unlikely to be due to her diabetes. There are several others possible causes for the symptoms. Because, as you say, she’s spending quite a lot of time in hospital, she has been surely investigated for her problems while there.

A serum anti-transglutaminase needs to be done in order to verify if celiac disorder is present, but also anti-enterocyte antibodies would be what to look for.

DOB