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January 11, 2000

Other Illnesses

Question from Lexington, Kentucky, USA:

My 16 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes three months ago. We now have good control of his blood sugars (ranging from 95-110), but he seems to get sick a lot (catching every virus that seems to be going around). He also complains of being very tired. Any deviation from his normal schedule seems to take him days to recover from. Is this due to the diabetes or another problem?


From: DTeam Staff

Type 1 diabetes at this stage should not make your son particularly vulnerable to virus infections. His control sounds as though it is very good; he is however at an age when he is likely to be very depressed over the whole change in life that diabetes has brought about. It is important to evaluate this because he needs to learn how to maintain meticulous control in the few tears before he may leave home for college and one of the people who would be most likely to help is the Medical Social Worker in his diabetic care team.

Additional comments from Dr. John Schulga:

The other thing to consider is whether or not he is hypoadrenal [low on adrenal function], as some of his symptoms fit with this. It would be worth talking this over with your diabetes team.