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From Minnesota, USA:

Our 5 year old son has IDDM. He was diagnosed July 1, 1996 [7 months ago]. I read in What's New about treatable Type 1 diabetes associated illnesses and have a concern that our son may have Graves' Disease. He is 49 inches tall and weighs 49 pounds. He generally has a low appetite but will eat his recommended carbs without difficulty. He always feels hot. In early fall we switched to Humalog and wrote about his heart palpitations. I do not see an enlarged thyroid but the glands to his throat are very very enlarged. Our endocrinologist commented on this in our last exam.

Do you think our son may be 1 of the 100 individuals with IDDM are afflicted with Graves' disease? Would you please help us understand what the oral treatment and TSH assay involve? Are they painful? Where could we find more information?


If there is any question your child has Graves' disease (an overactive thyroid), you should speak to his doctor about having his thyroid function tested with a blood test (many pediatric endocrinologists recommend checking thyroid function once a year in children with diabetes anyway).

If your child is diagnosed with an overactive thyroid, you should sit down with his physician and discuss the different treatment options with his doctor. An overactive thyroid can make diabetes control very difficult and should be diagnosed and treated if present.


[Editor's comment: TSH testing consists of simply a blood sample obtained from a vein into a glass tube, like many other blood tests. If a TSH is obtained, the doctor may well want to check other thyroid tests at the same time, and perhaps other tests as well; all the tests can probably be obtained in one tube of blood.

We have answered other questions about thyroid disease previously.


Original posting 16 Jan 97


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