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October 7, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Alden, New York, USA:

My five year old son has always sweated terribly, and is always hungry and thirsty. With regard to the sweating, it is mainly from the head. He can be sitting quietly looking at a book, and you would think he just came out of the bathtub. His entire head is soaked and his facial color is a deep red, but not blotchy. His sweat has a strong odor, and it literally runs down his head and neck. Diabetes does run in both sides of the family, and my son was a two pound preemie at birth, approximately 11 weeks early. His overall growth has been great, and he is now at 62 pounds. I am very nervous about his health, as he is always wanting sugar. He tires very easily, but, at the same time, the body perspiration is what scares me. Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Sweating is not typically a classic symptom of diabetes. However, some of the other symptoms you describe are typical of diabetes including frequent hunger and thirst. I would suggest discussing these worrisome symptoms with your son’s physician.

MSB