April 15, 2003
Diagnosis and Symptoms
Question from Visalia, California, USA:
My husband has had diabetes since age five so we know all the signs to look for in our children. Our five year old son has always drunk a lot, but lately has been drinking a lot and having accidents not only at night but during the day. He never has wet the bed before. He is not losing weight but is eating a lot.
He ate very little of his dinner last night so we tested him in after he pushed it away because he was wanting to drink and complaining of dry mouth. His sugar was 177 mg/dl [9.8 mmol/L], he ran a fever and vomited last night, and this morning his fasting was 137 mg/dl [7.6 mmol/L]. This past week he has had dry patches on his face and ears. Are we are overreacting and too concerned? What is normal for age five? Is the drinking and wetting normal for his age? Can illness trigger high glucose levels? Can the onset of diabetes go with or be masked by illness?
We are going to the doctor tomorrow, and I just need to know if we are paranoid or need to pursue this.
Pursue it! I worry that he may be headed to diabetes. Stay on top of the illness right now and call the doctor if you see a 200 mg/dl [11. 1mmol/L]. After he gets well, watch it and if things don’t go right back to below 100 mg/dl [5.6 mmol/L] in the morning, then I would still worry. He might be at the edge of diabetes, the symptoms are there and a fasting of more than 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L] is diabetes (in the lab and not on your machine).
Stress does raise glucose and I have seen it up in ill children and then be normal. That said the signs you write about, thirst and urine, worry me with your son. Be careful and don’t let him slip into DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis].