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November 16, 2000


Question from Dallas, Texas, USA:

My 12 year old son has type�1 diabetes. For the last few days, he has had blood in his urine, and his pediatrician wants to run more tests on him. We go back on Friday, and if there is still blood in his urine, they will be admitting him. They are concerned it is his kidneys. What exactly are they concerned with?


It is rather unlikely that the hematuria (blood in the urine) has anything to do with your son’s diabetes; but I expect that the doctors are anxious to find out exactly what the problem is. It might be a urinary tract infection, which is rather uncommon in boys, or it might be acute glomerulonephritis [a form of kidney disease, separate from diabetes]. indeed, there are a number of other possibilities which are much more efficiently disentangled in a hospital.