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January 22, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Wylie, Texas, USA:

Our eight year old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes two weeks ago, yet they still can not tell us if she has type�1 or type 2. (The lab results are still not in.) Also, the educator advised us that even if my daughter’s lab work was negative, she would still have diabetes and probably type 1. Is there something I’m missing with the diabetes diagnoses? I feel the doctors and educators have been very quick to diagnose my daughter’s diabetes and start insulin therapy when they don’t even know if she has type 1 or type 2!

Three years ago, we took our daughter to an endocrinologist find out why she was so heavy (She has always had a very hefty appetite and been heavy since she was a baby), the doctor did blood tests, found nothing wrong with her, and told us to put her on a soccer team. Would there have been something in her blood work to indicate diabetes three years then?

If you catch diabetes soon enough in children, can you get the pancreas working, and reverse the diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

If your daughter has been significantly overweight, it may well be that she has type�2 diabetes, a disorder that is being increasingly recognised in children. The laboratory results that you are still waiting for are almost certainly those for the antibody tests.

If one of these is positive, it will mean that she has type�1A (autoimmune) diabetes and is committed to some form of supplementary insulin for the foreseeable future.

She might also perhaps have type�1B diabetes which, like type 1A, has an acute insulin dependent onset, but is antibody negative. On the other hand, as previously mentioned, she might have type 2 diabetes. These two forms can be distinguished on the basis of serum C-peptide tests. In both cases, there is a good possibility that blood glucose levels can be controlled without the need for insulin.

In none of these instances can the pancreas be fully restored to normal function though exercise and weight control can go some way toward this in type 2.