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December 15, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Pompano Beach, Florida, USA:

There is a strong history of diabetes in our family, and I have hypoglycemia, so my two year old son recently had his blood sugar tested which was 70 mg/dl [3.9 mmol/L]. While I understand that this is within the normal range, he exhibits three signs of diabetes — slow growth (fifth percentile on the charts), excessive thirst, and a craving for sugary foods. Might there be a possibility that he could have diabetes regardless of what the blood test showed? My mother-in-law said that sometimes her blood sugar is low as well even though she has had diabetes since her late 20s.


From: DTeam Staff

It is unlikely that your son has diabetes now. Craving sugary foods is not a symptom of diabetes. Sustained growth (even at the fifth percentile) is a normal finding in children. I would watch him for the typical symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst, hunger, weight loss, and frequent urination. If he exhibits those signs, then a more detailed look at the possibility of diabetes is warranted.

It is recommended that children have a screening urinalysis done once a year at his age to screen for diabetes and other illnesses. This is typically done in the pediatrician’s office during a routine wellness examination.