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September 25, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Van Buren, Arizona, USA:

My daughter just recently turned three years old. Since birth, she has been very ill. She easily catches any virus that comes along. She has been hospitalized several times. She once kept a strep infection for seven months before removing her tonsils. Her most current problem is her frequent urination. She potty trained normally, but her activity has increased to going to the potty about every 15 minutes. I took her to her pediatrician for a urine test and there were no signs of infection. My father has diabetes, and I know that this disease could be inherited. She also eats all the time but she gains very little weight. She currently weighs 30 pounds. Do you think I should have her screened for diabetes?


It sounds like you are very concerned about your daughter. It is very easy to check for diabetes by testing the urine for glucose so I would ask your doctor if that test was done. I would assume that was done when your daughter was checked for a urinary tract infection. If the test was negative your daughter probably did not have diabetes at that time.


[Editor’s comment: If your daughter has been hospitalized several times, then it’s almost inevitable that several blood sugar levels have been obtained. Urine sugar testing, if negative when ill, would tend to exclude the diagnosis, but blood sugar testing would be the definitive way to make the diagnosis. Ask your daughter’s physicians what the blood sugar levels showed, and, perhaps, get another blood sugar test done.