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CWD Answers Archives

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June 29, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from San Diego, California, USA:

Recently, my five year old son has been extremely thirsty, and his pull-up (he isn’t potty trained at night) is always full in the morning. About a month ago he had an unexplained infection in his foot and now looks like he has another. When he was asking constantly for a drink last week, diabetes popped in my mind and now with the foot infection it really has me worried. He also hasn’t wanted to eat sweets lately, which isn’t like him. You always hear of foot ailments associated with diabetes. No one in my or my husband’s family has diabetes. Could my son have diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

Foot complications due to diabetes are a long-term consequence of poor control. In general, it has to do with circulatory problems leading to poor nerve function (leading to decreased pain sensation) and poor wound healing. This is a consequence of many, many years of diabetes in sub-optimal control.

Recurrent infections may be a sign of diabetes, but I agree with you that the change in his urinary pattern and his thirst need to be assessed very soon. This is easily assessed with a urine sample plus a simple fasting glucose level. If the blood sugar is initially normal, I would still get a repeat sample two hours after a carbohydrate/starch filled breakfast.