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September 15, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Troy, Michigan, USA:

My nine year old granddaughter eats ice all day long. She will even get up from sleeping and go for ice. She is healthy and is not losing weight. She has lousy eating habits, nothing by snacks and sweets after school, and she simply goes through the motions at eating dinner. I seem to remember reading or hearing that constant consumption of ice is a symptom of possible diabetes. Is there anything to this ice equals diabetes thing? Should I advise my daughter to have her tested?

Answer:

Eating ice itself is not a symptom of diabetes, but excessive thirst and urination are. If your granddaughter has to get up every night to urinate and eat ice, her parents should bring her to the doctor and have her urine tested for sugar. If there is sugar in the urine, this probably is diabetes mellitus (a high blood sugar would confirm the diagnosis). If there is no sugar in the urine, there are other medical reasons she might be getting up every night to drink and urinate.

TGL