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Diabetes in infancy: diagnosis and current management.

By G. L. Bland and V. D. Wood


This article reviews diagnosis and management of infants with diabetes. These infants present with signs and symptoms confused with other more common illnesses in this age group. A physician examining an ill-appearing dehydrated infant, without any obvious cause for the dehydration, should quickly screen the urine for glucose and ketones. Diagnosis of diabetes is a problem when an infant has only hyperglycemia or ketonuria. Febrile illnesses, convulsions, and dehydration can cause these laboratory abnormalities. Once the diagnosis of diabetes is made in the infant, management is complicated by the difficulty in administering small doses of insulin, monitoring blood glucose, complementing insulin administration with feedings, and hypoglycemia. The potential for brain damage with unrecognized episodes of hypoglycemia is always a concern in infants. This article offers suggestions for treating hypoglycemia as well as guidelines for making insulin adjustments when the infant is ill. The physician should be aware of the psychosocial issues involving the family of an infant with diabetes. Optimism and ongoing support should be provided to the family, so that the infant can grow up healthy and possibly benefit from research on the cure of diabetes

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: National Medical Association
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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