1

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How to spot Diabetes in Children

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 09, 2011 at 6:25 PM

A couple of days ago there was a post regarding sweet smelling breath and urination. It got me to thinking about my 8 year old who still wets the bed and has bad/sweet? smelling breath. I have a glucose monitor at home, but he won't let me use it on him. I also have some KETO sticks from my testing for ketosis days. They are recent; I just no longer feel the need to use them. Does anyone know what a result on these would be that would be alarming for Type 1 Diabetes? Color or no color? I thought that I would check him later today after a carby meal (no gluten).

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 11, 2011
at 08:08 PM

Sheesh- all I know about Type I diabetes I learned from reading The Babysitter's Club book series as a kid, and I even know better than that doc! Asshole indeed...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 11, 2011
at 02:28 AM

Please see a doctor as soon as possible.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Someone should start a website called "One MD At A Time"....

0c0c5c65612425e497b7231c21516943

(1354)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I tend to be a little of a hypochondriac and I think that reading the other post made me a little nervous. Truly, he is just a bed wetter, thin, but not losing weight, and has bad morning breath. I will keep a watch on him.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 10, 2011
at 01:05 PM

@ Dexter, point taken about control of Type I with diet. Usually, a reduced carb diet can reduce, but not eliminate insulin requirements in Type I diabetes. Thanks,

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:29 AM

That guy should be fired. Your symptoms were classic type I diabetes. He'd have to be quite stupid to assume type II first. I can see the average layperson making the mistake but for a doctor, it's unforgivable.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:05 AM

I have a friend that has been diagnosed a type I since age 12...now 46. When I got ahold of him early last year and told him about paleo and zero carbs..no wheat and sugar,etc he implemented paleo and began to not need as much insulin and now he is almost insulin injection free...meaning he always had some T cells but the carbs were overwhelming his pancreas. Now with zero carb, he is doing wonderfully and his doctor of 25 years is totally shocked and amazed. We'll convert them one MD at a time.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:02 AM

I have a friend that has been diagnosed a type I since age 12...now 46. When I got ahold of him early last year and told him about paleo and zero carbs...no wheat and sugar, etc...he implemented paleo and began to not need as much insulin bolas and now he is almost insulin injection free...meaning he always had some T cells but the carbs were overwhelming his pancreas. Now with zero carb, he is doing wonderfully and his doctor of 25 years us totally shocked and amazed. We'll convert them one MD at a time.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 10, 2011
at 04:53 AM

One advantage to catching Type I early (in addition to not dying from DKA) is that the patient may qualify for a drug or stem cell trial which could potentially extend the asymptomatic period.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 09, 2011
at 08:49 PM

@Dexter, I agree with most of your answer, but an otherwise normal child with a normal fasting glucose may not need a post-prandial (after meal) glucose test. Also, modification of the diet can control Type II diabetes, not Type I.

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7 Answers

4
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 09, 2011
at 06:46 PM

A urine ketostix test is not an accurate test for diabetes, because most diabetics are not in ketosis or ketoacidosis (DKA) at any given time. If it's positive, however, it would indicate the need for further testing.

A urine glucose test is somewhat more accurate, and will show positive most of the time if the blood sugar is over 200. Of course, neither ketostix (for ketones) nor diastix (for sugar) of the urine are an accurate substitue for a blood glucose test.

Regarding bedwetting, an 8 year old who wets the bed is on the unlucky side of the bell curve, but is likely to be normal. Most bedwetting in children is not caused by blood sugar problems. Often the cause is a relatively low level of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). The most effective treatment for bedwetting in children is a bedwetting alarm such as Wet-Stop or Potty-Pager.

3
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on January 09, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Who is the decision maker here? You or your child? If you suspect diabetes, you need to test the kid's blood sugar upon waking up first. Normal is around 95-100. Then eat a normal breakfast and retest for blood sugar at the 1 hour mark. If it is up over 130 or so then this is telling you that the pancreas is not putting out enough insulin to control blood sugar. Dr Davis wants the after eating BG to be the same or close to the fasting BG reading. http://bit.ly/gLTnh3

Modification of the diet can control diabetes.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:02 AM

I have a friend that has been diagnosed a type I since age 12...now 46. When I got ahold of him early last year and told him about paleo and zero carbs...no wheat and sugar, etc...he implemented paleo and began to not need as much insulin bolas and now he is almost insulin injection free...meaning he always had some T cells but the carbs were overwhelming his pancreas. Now with zero carb, he is doing wonderfully and his doctor of 25 years us totally shocked and amazed. We'll convert them one MD at a time.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 09, 2011
at 08:49 PM

@Dexter, I agree with most of your answer, but an otherwise normal child with a normal fasting glucose may not need a post-prandial (after meal) glucose test. Also, modification of the diet can control Type II diabetes, not Type I.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Someone should start a website called "One MD At A Time"....

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 10, 2011
at 01:05 PM

@ Dexter, point taken about control of Type I with diet. Usually, a reduced carb diet can reduce, but not eliminate insulin requirements in Type I diabetes. Thanks,

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:05 AM

I have a friend that has been diagnosed a type I since age 12...now 46. When I got ahold of him early last year and told him about paleo and zero carbs..no wheat and sugar,etc he implemented paleo and began to not need as much insulin and now he is almost insulin injection free...meaning he always had some T cells but the carbs were overwhelming his pancreas. Now with zero carb, he is doing wonderfully and his doctor of 25 years is totally shocked and amazed. We'll convert them one MD at a time.

2
211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on January 10, 2011
at 03:09 AM

I wouldn't worry if I were you, as Type 1 diabetes would be tough to miss.

It's believed that the autoimmune disease actually progresses slowly and asymptomatically for a period of months or even years until the a sufficient quantity of beta cells are destroyed to produce symptoms of hyperglycemia -- extreme thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, weight loss, and hunger in some cases.

In my case, I noticed I was unusually thirsty and rather fatigued, plus I noticed I was waking up at night to urinate. Prior to this I'd never had any health problems so I basically ignored it. A week had passed and I noticed that I had mysteriously lost 10 lbs, which was not welcomed because I was already very slender. The following week I was sleeping around the clock, waking up every 45 minutes to urinate and get something to drink. I stepped on the scale and saw that I had dropped another 20 lbs, just in that one week.

When I finally visited the doctor I was so dehydrated that I wasn't able to speak, as my tongue was stuck to the bottom of my mouth. He prescribed me pills thinking that I was a Type 2 diabetic, which resulted in DKA the following day (he also didn't even bother to give me an IV for the dehydration. What an Asshole.).

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 10, 2011
at 04:53 AM

One advantage to catching Type I early (in addition to not dying from DKA) is that the patient may qualify for a drug or stem cell trial which could potentially extend the asymptomatic period.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:29 AM

That guy should be fired. Your symptoms were classic type I diabetes. He'd have to be quite stupid to assume type II first. I can see the average layperson making the mistake but for a doctor, it's unforgivable.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 11, 2011
at 08:08 PM

Sheesh- all I know about Type I diabetes I learned from reading The Babysitter's Club book series as a kid, and I even know better than that doc! Asshole indeed...

2
Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on January 09, 2011
at 11:59 PM

My husband was diagnosed with type 1 when he was 9. His only symptoms were unusually frequent thirst and urination. Those seem to be the most common symptoms for little ones.

1
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on January 10, 2011
at 05:10 AM

A friend of mine ( a nurse no less ) suspected that her 8 year old daughter had type 1 for quite a few months without anything to go on - she pushed her GP to test her Blood Glucose and that night she was in intensive care - BSL of 15.

In the end she had no real symptoms - it was a hunch - so dont waste time here - just go get him tested - if you are wrong - GREAT but really ..........

1
145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

on January 09, 2011
at 07:54 PM

Type 1 Diabetes is characterized (almost always) by extreme thirst, extreme hunger and LOSS OF WEIGHT. I am not trying to be alarmist, but if he has Type 1 diabetes, he will die if not treated.

I would suggest that you perform the fingerstick immediately (he "won't let you" indeed) just to get a general idea of what is blood sugar is running, and THEN take him to the doctor, whether he "lets" you or not.

0
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:25 AM

Depends on what type of diabetes you are looking for. If type one, then eventually the child would have so few functiong beta cells that insulin levels would drop very low and he would lose weight and go into ketosis. Only then would ketosticks be of much use.

But most people these days have type II diabetes which means that insulin is present but the body is not properly sensitive to it. The only way to reliably test for this is blood testing. One thing you could do is wait for the child to get a little cut or scrape and some blood comes out because of that, and then run and get your glucometer and use the blood drops to do the test. Of course, you will have to interpret the results according to what food was recently eaten and when, but overall, it should give you a rough idea if a big problem is present or not. Usually, kids fall down and scrape their knee often enough that you shouldn't have to wait too long for some blood to spill by accident.

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