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August 27, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Garden Grove, California, USA:

My 20 month old great-granddaughter has always drunk lots of water, even when she nursed all the time. She loves to chew on ice as well, so we keep a cup of it and a cup of water available at all times. When I mentioned diabetes to her doctor, she sort of shrugged it off, and the next doctor told my granddaughter that she was to young to have it. At what age do little ones get diabetes?

Answer:

There are many causes for excessive water drinking one of which is diabetes. Babies can get diabetes very shortly after birth — and certainly, diabetes can occur at very young ages from shortly after birth through toddlerhood and older. If her water drinking is excessive, it would be worthwhile to discuss it with her physician making sure that she is aware that you are seriously concerned.

MSB