From Illinois, USA:
We have a 14 year old son that has had diabetes 7.5 years. His glucose reading have been up and down with his A1C ranging from 8.6 - 16. His endocrinologist expressed concern that he isn't showing signs of physical maturity, i.e., voice changing, body hair, etc. He will be having some tests for hormones and has had X-rays of his hands to check his growth. My question is, how is diabetes management related to growth and maturity in teens?
Generally speaking it isn't. By this I mean that most children with diabetes grow and develop normally, unless their blood sugar control is diabolically bad. Dreadful control does stunt growth and can interfere with (i.e., slow) development. However, part of good management is to keep an eye on growth and development and this is all your endocrinologist is doing. Occasionally delays can mean something like an underactive thyroid gland and this is associated with diabetes. Wait for the results of your son's tests -- he will almost certainly just turn out to be a late developer.
Original posting 3 Apr 97
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