From London, Ontario, Canada:
Our daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine weeks, and we were wondering if you or any of your colleagues have heard of a child so young. Is there any advice or information for parents of infants with diabetes?
While age nine weeks is very young, there certainly are reported cases of "neonatal diabetes." It actually has a different cause than typical type 1 diabetes. Recent evidence suggests that it is due to an unusual chromosome configuration: generally we receive all our original 46 chromosomes from our parents -- half (23) each from our mother and father. These chromosomes then divide to put the 23 pairs into virtually all of our subsequent cells throughout the body. The chromosome pairs are designated as pair #1, pair #2, pair #3, etc based on special lab techniques. In neonatal diabetes, it appears that sometimes each of the #6 pair come from the same parent. However, there is good news: this form of diabetes is actually usually transient after about six months or so.
There certainly are other forms of neonatal diabetes -- conditions due to malformation of the pancreas and thereby inadequate insulin production. I would be hopeful that by working with a pediatric endocrinologist you can address these various possibilities and get some prognostic ideas. If your child is not followed by a pediatric endocrinologist, you may wish to ask for a referral. The large academic medical centers with medical schools should be able to guide you.
[Editor's comment: There are two excellent publications that may help you:
- Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace by Betty Brackenridge and Richard Rubin.
- Diabetes Care for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers: A Reassuring Guide by Jean Betschart.
Original posting 4 Nov 2002
Posted to Daily Care
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:37
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