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April 12, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Southern Highlands, New South Wales, Australia:

My wife and I are foster parents, presently have an 18 month old who stays with us regularly, and we have noticed that her milestones are a bit delayed and that she constantly drinks even though she is fed a well-balanced diet. The skin around her eyes tends to look very dry and sunken (as if she was slightly dehydrated which is very unlikely due to the amount of fluid intake she has). Her urine is not excessive or more frequent than normal. We have searched the web looking for possible clues or answers to what could be the problem but been unable to find any. We are also unable to access any of her medical records or parental background. Would you have any idea as to what could be wrong with her? We would like to get her the necessary medical treatment she needs.

Answer:

It would be unwise to speculate too much, but one thing that should be considered is diabetes insipidus. If you have medical concerns about a child in your care, you should express these to her paediatrician so that the clinical findings can be matched up with the history.

KJR