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September 19, 2000

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Genetics and Heredity

Question from :

I just got a call from my son asking for prayers. He took his two and one-half year old son to the Emergency Room as the boy was having pains in his stomach and a temperature. They ruled out appendix. They are suggesting juvenile diabetes. Could you tell me what the symptoms might be, and what they should be doing? Unfortunately, some time ago, my husband was in that same hospital, which is supposed to be the best, and I was disappointed in the care and diagnosis. My husband has type 1 diabetes. His mother and several siblings all had diabetes. Would this be a factor?

Answer:

The strong positive family history for diabetes in your family is indeed a risk factor for diabetes for your nephew. His symptoms that you report are not enough, by themselves, to make the diagnosis unless lab exams of blood and urine sugar, which are, indeed, very easy, are carried out, but which you haven’t mentioned in your letter. The hospital staff should have performed them already at admission as part of routine testing.

MS