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March 13, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada:

My five year old son wakes every morning with fruity smelling breath, many complaints about headaches, and belly aches. He is 37 pounds and is in the fifth percentile for his height and age. He is very thin, and I have trouble getting him to gain some weight. I finally convinced my doctor to do a random glucose check, and am waiting results. He is not convinced that his lack of weight gain, headaches and belly aches are symptoms of diabetes in children. Could he be in the honeymoon phase? What kind of tests should he have to find out? Should I get a pediatrician's opinion? I am a pediatric nurse and know the fruity smell of ketosis well.

Answer:

Even normal children occasionally have ketones when they are a bit dehydrated. I would review the symptoms of diabetes and then review your concerns at length with your pediatrician who can help you decide if any testing may be necessary for your son. You can find the Symptoms of Diabetes on our web site.

MSB