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April 14, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Riverside, California, USA:

My 21 month old son drinks all the time, actually and pees it right out into his diaper. My wife, who s a nurse, also noticed that our son has fruity breath and called the doctor after noticing his intake and output of fluids. She says that fruity breath is an indicator of diabetes, but I can not find anything that states that this would be a symptom. I am taking him for a blood test today, but I want to know if his fruity breath is really an indicator or not.

Answer:

By the time you read this you should know if your son has diabetes. What was the glucose? Were there ketones in the urine? That may be what your wife is smelling since ketones produce a fruity smell.

I hope you did see the doctor because your son’s symptoms of diabetes could progress to something serious — DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] if you wait too long.

LD