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From Oregon, USA:

My granddaughter, 14 years old, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 5 weeks ago. My daughter took her to the doctor for a routine check up. She was not ill and in fine spirits. Her mother was concerned about her not gaining any weight and having an enormous appetite. Her doctor run some tests and found her blood sugar at 525. They immediately sent her to a local hospital, where she was for 4 days. She was not sick and her doctor could not believe she was not showing any signs of illness. The diagnosis was type 1. She has had many of the classic symptoms for type 1, however her mother and I are concerned about other symptoms which have not been addressed by the doctor, such as: loss of hair (not clumps), loss of enamel on her teeth, her period which started at age 12 and stopped after 2 periods (she has not had it since). Could there be another underlying problem possible causing her blood sugar to be high? My daughter wishes to have another doctor examine her. What do you think? She is a 4.0 student through all of this!


The hair loss is something that I see commonly in newly diagnosed patients. This and the tooth discolouration are, I think, just indications of long term poor health. Her hair will grow back normally but you will need to ask a dentist about her teeth. Periods are commonly irregular at the start so I don't think this is an issue. In summary, I don't think that there's any need for a second opinion but, of course, that's up to your daughter and granddaughter.


Additional comments from Dr. Brink:

Sounds like fairly typical new diabetes. Most of our patients present in just this fashion. I would expect that her symptoms are also related to new diabetes with intermittent high sugars for the previous several weeks or months. Therefore, these symptoms should all go away as the diabetes is treated and the blood glucose levels are brought under control. Your granddaughter's health care team should be aware of these symptoms to make sure that they are not caused by other commonly associated problems: celiac disease, thyroid problems (especially subtle hypothyroidism) and adrenal insufficiency (Addison's). These can all be treated if they exist.


Original posting 9 Nov 1999
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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