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September 6, 2001


Question from Houston, Texas, USA:

My two and half year old daughter and our friend's four and a half year old son have both had diabetes for two years, and my daughter rarely gets ketones whereas the four year old gets moderate to high ketones multiple times a month. Do some kids just get ketones more often than others? What would account for the difference in the way their bodies function?


Children’s metabolisms are clearly individualized. The four year old appears to break down fats more quickly. I expect one is thinner than the other and possibly more active. Energy needs are different and one goes to the fat metabolism system. I don’t really think it is the diabetes management, but certainly lots of highs can be associated with ketones. I bet, though, you see ketones with seemingly normal (for diabetes) sugars. Monitor and don’t get surprised.