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My 4 y/o son lives with his mom. She has said in the past that the boy has Juvenile Diabetes, but last week said it isn't Juvenile Diabetes, but he is borderline diabetic. I know a lady at work who is diabetic and she has two sons with diabetes, and she told me there is no such thing as borderline, you are or aren't diabetic. I don't have the money right now to get an assessment, and want to be cautious. Dietwise what should he have and not have? What symptoms do I look out for, and then what to do if symptoms appear?

Let's start off by agreeing that the names are confusing, but the treatment of the various conditions is about the same.

Terms such as juvenile diabetes (now called Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes) are used for kids or adults who have severe deficiencies of insulin, and who need to take insulin shots to stay alive.

The term "borderline diabetes" is generally not used anymore by diabetes specialists.

If your son was taking insulin previously for diabetes, and now no longer needs it, he may be in a honeymoon, which is a period of time when people with diabetes temporarily do very well, and sometimes don't even need insulin injections. (Like most honeymoons, the diabetes honeymoon won't last forever.)

As we mentioned, the treatment for Type 1 diabetes, and for kids in honeymoons, is all about the same (except insulin is definitely needed for Type 1). There's a need for the child to be on a meal plan, to have lots of exercise, and frequent blood glucose monitoring to see what's happening.

Symptoms of diabetes out of control in children include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Failure to grow at the usual rate
  • Nighttime urination
  • Lack of energy: not wanting to do usual activities

Original posting 18 Feb 96


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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