From West Lafayette, Indiana, USA:
I have an 11 month old son and my husband has Type 1 diabetes. What are signs I should look for with my baby to indicate diabetes? Should I have him tested periodically just to make sure he isn't getting it or is there some test I could do at home? I do know now that he drinks about 6-7 8 oz. bottles at day and 1 1/2 at night. Is this something I should worry about?
On the basis of what you report in your letter, I can reassure you that your child has an approximately 1 in 20 chance of getting type 1 diabetes, or 95% chance he won't develop diabetes; the risk is not terribly likely.
Although rare, diabetes can start in infancy. Usually the early symptoms such as excessive thirst and urination are missed in a young infant. Usually the first symptoms are vomiting, dehydration or rapid breathing. These children can get sick very rapidly if not treated. If your child has any of these symptoms a simple urine test done at home should rule out the diagnosis. There are other blood tests that can indicate that your child is at high risk for developing type 1 diabetes in the next few months or years. These are called autoantibodies and on the advisability of getting the test done opinions vary a good deal because, outside controlled trials such as DPT and ENDIT, we really still don't know how to stop the ongoing autoimmune process. My own opinion is, rather emphatically, that the reassurance of a negative result is substantial and that even if the result is positive you can then participate to the trials DPT or ENDIT and, even if not joining any preventive trial, being aware of your positive status you can escape the abrupt clinical diagnosis (of ketoacidosis) with resultant hospitalisation.
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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