From Oxnard, California, USA:
My 12 year old son, who has had Down's Syndrome since birth, was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Is this rare? What other health risks are there with the combination of the two? I imagine he will never be able to give his own insulin. Is there any added financial help or care we can receive?
Down's Syndrome and diabetes are not infrequently seen together. Thyroid problems also are more common and should be routinely checked. We actually have a dozen Down's Syndrome patients with diabetes in our own practice and have followed several for more than 25 years. With appropriate limits on food and frequent testing, they have all done quite well. However, they do need parents, older siblings and/or caretakers in later years to provide direct supervision of food amounts and activity adjustments as well as to administer insulin.Most have gone to diabetes camps and also done well as long as they have supervision.
You should work closely with your son's diabetes care team to determine appropriate blood glucose goals. Your son will frequent follow-up to help support you and your family.
[Editor's comment: You should speak with a medical social worker about additional financial help. If your son's diabetes team does not have one, they should be able to give you a referral. SS]
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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