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April 20, 2002

Other Illnesses

Question from Seneca, South Carolina, USA:

My seven year old daughter, who has had type 1 diabetes for four and a half years, has had chronic diarrhea now for almost eight months. Her stool is very watery, dark, and it seems to be oily. Also, she weighs only 34 pounds and has extremely poor growth. When she was three years old, she was negative for celiac disease, her doctor has run stool tests for a fat analysis and giardia which were both negative, and now we are testing her for cystic fibrosis. Is it possible she could have some lower intestine damage from diabetes? Do you think it might be caused by diabetes?

Answer:

No, I think it is extremely unlikely to be related to her diabetes. She should have the coeliac disease screen repeated. My main advice would be that she should be assessed by a pediatric gastroenterologist.

KJR