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January 30, 2000

Complications, Thyroid

Question from Spain:

My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed shortly before 12 years. She began menstruating 13 months ago but hasn't had any more periods during the past 7 months. She hasn't grown at all or developed physically during this time. Our endocrinologist hasn't given us an explanation. Does diabetes affect growth and physical development?

Answer:

Diabetes that is reasonably well controlled shouldn’t affect growth and development. It is not uncommon to miss several menstrual periods after the first one even in girls without diabetes. It can take a year to establish regular menstruation. The average girl grows 3 inches after her first menstrual period. If your daughter has completely stopped growing, you should probably check her thyroid function if this hasn’t been done. Thyroid problems are common in children with diabetes and can cause irregular menstrual periods and poor growth.

TGL