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June 27, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from England:

My first cousin and my son both have type�1 diabetes, and I'm really concerned about my 17 year old nephew. He's skinny, covered in acne, sweaty, has really dry flaky feet and athletes foot (but always wears two pairs of socks even in bed), eats like a horse, drinks almost neat black current juice all the time, is moody, tired, aggressive, and unable to concentrate. He did a 60 mile bike ride and nearly passed out until we dosed him up with sugary drinks and food. Am I a paranoid aunt for thinking that this is starting to add up to glucose problems or is this just an particularly obnoxious teenager?

Answer:

It seems to me that you are simply being appropriately concerned given the information that you have described. I can think of several possibilities (including funky teenager –since I don’t know him, I’d be hard pressed to call him “obnoxious.”)

It seems reasonable to have him screened for possible diabetes, thyroid disease, or even an underactive adrenal gland.

DS