From Haifa, Israel:
My son is six and a half. He has had diabetes for a year and a half. I am nervous about his height: before he got diabetes he was always taller than an average child of his age. Now he is 117 cm tall. Can diabetes be a reason for this? Can I do anything about it?
117 cm is about average for a 6 1/2 year old male. If your son used to be tall for his age and now is average, his growth rate may be abnormally low, even if his height is in the normal range. You don't have to have perfect blood sugars to grow normally, though if his blood sugar control is very poor it can interfere with growth.
Other causes for poor growth more common in children with diabetes include inadequate caloric intake (if you increase his calories, he will probably need more insulin), underactive thyroid, and celiac disease (an inability to digest wheat). I suggest you discuss your child's growth with his doctor and find out whether the doctor feels his growth rate is normal or not.
Original posting 1 Nov 1998
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