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February 25, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA:

About nine months ago, our six year old daughter was diagnosed with rolandic epilepsy. Since that time, because the seizures occur only in her sleep, I have checked on her many times. Lately, I have noticed an excessive amount of sweating. Sometimes when I tuck her in, her pillow is wet from the perspiration. She has been potty-trained since before the age of three, but is not fully potty-trained at night. She will go many nights in a row being dry, then a few nights in a row of wetting the bed. She has never been able to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. She doesn't urinate much during the day, which is the reason I thought she would urinate sometimes at night. She has always craved carbohydrates and would eat bagels all day if we allowed her too. My concern is that she might have symptoms of diabetes. Her paternal grandfather was just diagnosed last year with diabetes, and my maternal grandmother had diabetes as well. We always have had well visits, where her urine was tested. Do you feel her symptoms are indicative of diabetes? How quickly can diabetes occur in children? If she had glucose in her urine would it show up at a well visit, or do you need to specifically ask for sugar to be tested in the urine?

Answer:

Diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. The urine test is useful if you catch the glucose high. Your doctor can do the blood tests. Classic diabetes has extreme thirst, excessive urination day and night and excessive hunger, usually with weight loss. It doesn’t sound like your daughter has diabetes, but the blood tests will tell.

LD