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August 15, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from York, Pennsylvania, USA:

My eight day old son is not interested in eating, has had bowel movements only twice per day, and he sleeps a lot. When we change and/or try to feed him, he gets active enough (crying loudly and kicking his feet), but his disinterest in eating and frequent urination worry his mom and me. Are we right to be worried? Should we suggest more strongly that our pediatrician test our son for diabetes? (He didn't seem very interested in my family history of diabetes, brushing off the chance of infant diabetes as a one in a million possibility when we took our son to his first office visit a week after his birth.)

Answer:

Diabetes mellitus in a week old infant would be extremely, extremely uncommon. There are so many other conditions, some potentially quite worrisome, that could make a neonate fussy and ill, some of which could affect his appetite and urinary habits. If there are questions about the health of a newborn, you should visit with your pediatrician.

DS