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From Winfield, Texas, USA:

My 13 year old son was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three months ago, but I've been doing some reading, and I'm worried that he has type  1. The doctor said the diabetes was because he is overweight. However, my son started having seizures of unknown origin when he was eight months old, was diagnosed with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency when he was five years old, and he has a hepatoma. I know seizures and hepatoma are sometimes caused by diabetes.


It is always difficult to tie together such a complex story within the limited compass of an e-mail and without any more detailed access to the medical records. However, in view of your son's weight problem, I think that he almost certainly has type 2 diabetes and is probably being managed without insulin at the present.

Understanding the links to the other problems is more difficult. A rather rare genetic disorder called hemochromatosis, which is due to excessive iron storage in the tissues could explain the diabetes, the hepatoma and the seizures, but not the alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which could or course be just another randomly associated genetic abnormality. It might be worth asking about a transferrin level, though. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is associated with diabetes, but the liver tumors are usually of a different kind.

Type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes seems very unlikely, and I would not feel an antibody test is justified, al though you might discuss it with the doctor. Some rare insulin deficient diabetes is a possibility even though there seems to be no present need of insulin, and its evaluation could waste resources without changing treatment.


Original posting 13 Feb 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
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