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December 21, 2000

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Question from Singapore:

My newborn has had high blood sugar since her seventh day in this world. An answer to a previous question said that it is possible that she may recover months later. What is the probability? What can I do after she recovers to keep her from developing diabetes again or to prolong the time of disease occurrence?

Answer:

Neonatal diabetes mellitus is a rare syndrome (1:500.000 neonates) occurring in the first week of life. The affected infants, in more than 50% of cases, generally completely recover the ability to produce insulin after two to four months. This is called, “transient neonatal diabetes (TND)”. Relapses later in life are quite rare and are linked to the presence of HLA-DR3 and DR4 as does onset after the age of one month.

MS