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From Melbourne, Australia:

My 10 year-old daughter has recently been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She has had 2-3 years of quite frequent unexplained periodic epigastric pains, typically lasting hours. Do you think that this could have been due to some form of mild pancreatitis and is this a recognized phenomenon of the prodrome of Type 1 diabetes?


Abdominal pain in girls is a fairly common response to any form of stress and in Britain it used to be known as "Apley's syndrome." Also, abdominal pain is a certainly a part of the prodrome to the development of clinical diabetes though not usually for quite such a long period. The cause has never really been defined because it seems to disappear as soon as insulin treatment starts; but I don't think it's due to the infiltration of islet tissue with lymphocytes and the great bulk of the pancreas shows no changes. There are of course many other reasons for recurrent abdominal pain without invoking diabetes.


Original posting 21 May 97


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