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April 13, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Crete, Nebraska, USA:

My eight week old granddaughter has been diagnosed with this disease, and I was told that this is not common at such a early age. Is this something that will stick with her all her life or will she grow out of it?


If your granddaughter has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it is a lifelong condition.

Additional comments from Dr. Donough O’Brien:

I am not exactly sure what you mean by ‘this condition’, but assume that you are asking about neonatal diabetes. This is indeed a rare disorder, about 1:45,000 births. There are two types: in the transient form, which can sometimes be predicted by finding paternal disomy on chromosome 6 in the infant, recovery is usual by around four months, although a proportion develop diabetes again later in life. The remaining 50% develop permanent diabetes, and may, in addition, have deficiencies in the exocrine pancreas which supplies digestive enzymes. There is a good recent review of the problem in Menon PS, Khatwa UA. Diabetes mellitus in newborns and infants.Indian J Pediatr 2000 Jun;67(6):443-8.