From Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:
For as long as I can remember, my six year old drinks and urinates constantly, falls asleep everywhere, complains of feeling different, and has a very sweet smelling breath. After reading the symptoms of diabetes on your site (on my mothers recommendation), I am now concerned, and I am taking him to the doctor. Are these the symptoms I should be aware of? Is there anything else? Why is diabetes life threatening?
I expect that by now your son's doctor has the results of a fasting blood glucose level and knows whether there was sugar and acetone in the urine. If diabetes really is the diagnosis he/she has probably also asked for a hemoglobin A1c and antibody tests which you can learn more about on this web site.
These days (and especially in Melbourne where there is an excellent paediatric diabetes unit at the Children's Hospital), diabetes is very seldom dangerous, but it does take time and patience to learn how to keep blood sugars as near as possible to normal. If he has diabetes, it will help if your son can be looked after by a team which includes not only a doctor, but a nurse educator, a dietitian and a medical social worker.
You should also know that some very exciting research is going on with transplants of various kinds of insulin producing cells as well as with new insulins and new ways of giving insulin and testing blood sugars that promise to make blood sugar control much easier now, and, perhaps in 10 years or so, offer what will amount to a cure.
Original posting 4 Oct 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:25
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