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From Jupiter, Florida, USA:

My four year old's daycare staff brought to my attention that she drinks and urinates frequently, and around the same time, her grandparents also noticed this. I did not think much of it until she suddenly started wetting the bed. She used to wake up at night sometimes to go to the bathroom, but she now wets the bed regularly.

I took her to the doctor because she had a fever and was not feeling well, and her urine had ketones but no sugar. The doctor told me the ketones were probably because she was sick and not to worry.

At the same time, the family is noticing a increase in hunger. I took her to the doctor again today because she woke up with a fever. Before we left, she had orange juice, milk, water, and soda. In addition, while we were waiting, she asked repeatedly for water. She did not vomit, or have diarrhea and was not sick at all the day before. They tested her urine and it was negative for sugar and positive for ketones. They also tested her blood which was normal and one other time it was also normal.

We have no family history of diabetes family other than my grandmother who was insulin dependent, and I am not sure if that was age or heredity. Should we be checking something else?


You are very astute to realize that your daughter's change in bathroom habits, thirst, and appetite should be investigated. The symptoms that you describe certainly are often in seen in diabetes mellitus ("sugar diabetes"), but other conditions can mimic this.

For example, there is another condition that has the confusing name of Diabetes Insipidus. This is unrelated to diabetes mellitus, but has symptoms of increased thirst and urination. It is treated very differently. The diagnosis is best established by a specialist in pediatric endocrinology.

Some children with an overactive thyroid gland can have the symptoms you describe also. Children with excessive calcium in the blood and urine can have these symptoms,as can children with certain adrenal problems.

A pediatric endocrinologist may be good place for you to seek more help. Ask you daughter's doctor for a referral Nevertheless, don't dismiss that she might have the much more common diabetes mellitus. On a day that your daughter is feeling pretty well, you might ask if your doctor's office can arrange a fasting blood glucose (sugar) test. Then have your daughter eat a hearty breakfast, and then have the blood glucose repeated in two hours. This is an easy screen which should be done before they start searching for the more uncommon conditions mentioned above.


Original posting 16 Apr 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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