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From the United Kingdom:

My son is 3 years old; he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was only 20 months. From birth he was always a very hungry baby and still eats very well now. However, since being diagnosed with diabetes he has barely grown. His weight isn't particularly a concern, it is his height. What can be the causes of his lack of growth and is it likely that he will catch up?


Height depends mostly on genetic background (parents' heights), textbooks state. In the pre-intensive insulin era (where the best metabolic control was very rarely achieved) growth failure was a prominent feature of diabetic children and a severe form of growth failure was described in the Mauriac Syndrome. Aside from these extreme cases, which don't occur anymore thanks to modern insulin regimens, diabetic children might still have modest growth failure, even when diabetic control is good by standard criteria. It must be stressed though than over the last decade since we adopted the intensified insulin therapies an acceleration of linear growth in our diabetic children compared to ones treated by conventional methods has been recorded.


Additional comments from Dr. Tessa Lebinger:

I would also make sure your child has been tested for an underactive thyroid. This condition, which is easily diagnosed and treated, is common in children with diabetes and can interfere with growth.


Original posting 13 May 2000
Posted to Daily Care


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:10
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