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May 25, 2006

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Question from Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA:

An acquaintance told me her two year old with Down's Syndrome was just diagnosed with diabetes. Isn't diabetes a very rare occurrence for a child so young? She had been feeding the child a liquid food mix for sometime. Is it possible the high sugar levels were caused by the liquid food?

Answer:

Diabetes and Down Syndrome are highly associated, as are diabetes and celiac disease and thyroiditis, so it is important that these also be checked periodically. But, yes, very young children with diabetes is more rare than older children. It is mostly just bad luck and not much that we really understand except for the existence of such patterns.

SB

[Editor’s comment: It is unlikely that the liquid food caused the diabetes. The specific causes of diabetes are unknown. For more information, you might be interested in reading our previous questions on Research: Causes and Prevention; Type 1 Diabetes: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatments; and What causes diabetes?
BH]