I am very concerned of late about my six and 1/2 year old daughter. She has never wet her bed, even while potty training and she has wet three times in the past week and 1/2. The only other differences I have noticed has been that she has been a little more emotional about little things. My husband is an insulin dependent diabetic and was diagnosed 9 years ago. We have checked her urine several times for glucose and ketones and the results were negative. She has been checked at the doctor's office for an urinary tract infection and the results were negative. I have thought about everything including stress and I do not believe that that is the problem. She loves school and in the past has been very good about tell us or when we ask her letting us know if she has a problem. What I would like to know is am I worrying needlessly about this possibly being the early stages of diabetes? Also, we had her and my 3 year old daughter tested for the diabetes antibodies several weeks ago. We won't get the results back for probably a month. From the information I have read they believe that for the participants who tested positive for the antibody and who have participated in the study that they believe that the insulin injections are helping to delay or prevent the pancreas from failing. I am concerned that if this is the problem that she is having, is it too late to start the injections to possibly delay or prevent her from getting full blown diabetes? I feel rather panicked since I won't know the results for at least a month. Thanks for any help. I welcome any suggestions or comments from anyone that can help.
This question was referred to several members of the Diabetes Team, who have each given an answer:
Answer from Dr. Robertson:
This is really two questions:
- Is bedwetting likely to signify early diabetes?
- Do insulin injections before diagnosis prevent/delay insulin dependent diabetes?
To take the questions in order:
Unaccustomed bedwetting can be a sign of diabetes and you were right to have this checked out. The negative urines make diabetes unlikely and I am pleased to hear that your doctor has also checked for a urine infection. I suppose the only other thing that your doctor may do to reassure you is a haemoglobin A1c test of long term blood sugar. This may be useful. However, even if all these tests are negative, nobody can say that your daughter won't develop diabetes one day. You will know a bit more about the medium term risk when you get the antibody results.
Your second question will be answered by the Diabetes Prevention Trial which is currently underway. It is way too premature to conclude that insulin (injected or given some other way) in the pre-diabetic phase, will make any long term difference and there is certainly no justification for using this approach except within the rigorous framework of a properly controlled clinical trial.
Hope these answers are reassuring. KJR
Answer from Dr. Lebinger:Occasionally, frequent urination can be a symptom of other medical problems, including an overactive thyroid gland. Relatives of individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of developing thyroid problems. People with an untreated overactive thyroid may urinate more frequently than usual and may have unexplained changes in behavior. You may want to discuss with your child's physician checking her thyroid function if the bedwetting does not stop.
Original posting 11 Sep 96
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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