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What the heck is going on?!

Posted

I work in a very small pediatrics office. In the last 8 days we have had 3 patients diagnosed with onset of type 1 diabetes. In the 7 years that i have worked there i can only count one or two other cases.

This is crazy!!

I have heard a theory that a virus may damage the pancreas in people who are genetically prone to developing diabetes. Is there any basis to this theory?

Do you think this should be reported? Its not an infectious disease, but I really think the public should know that for some reason there has been this influx. Am i overreacting? I guess it could just be coincidence....but i just cant stop thinking about it.

SlightlyMental_RN

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

I guess that I would, for now, chalk it up to chance. I don't think it would hurt, however, to have your physician(s) ask around to see if other MDs in the area have seen a similar spike.

Yes there are viruses that can effect the pancreas, and when compromised or damaged the patient become either temporarily or permanently diabetic. I would recommend that you speak to the Pediatrician(s) you are working for. I am sure they can give you the information you are looking for. If you are not satisfied with the answer you get you could always contact your states department of health and inquire.

Good luck and I would be curious as to what you find out.

Susan

You are totally over reacting. There is a theory that antibodies that react to the coxsackie virus may then target the beta cells on the pancreas, but that would happen over the course of years, probably decades.

Don't bother reporting it. It's not an infectious disease. At all.

You are basing your thoughts on a very small sample- the patients in your office. There are a number of possibilities more likely than a mutant virus causing type I diabetes running rampant.

Perhaps another doctor somewhere referred these patients to you because they thought highly of your office's services. Perhaps your doc was asking for more patients, or more kinds of a patient.

However, the most likely of all is that it is just bad luck, combined with your alert observations- for example, you see the first type I, think it's unusual, and then you are hyperware, and are more likely to notice more.

Like red lights. If you hit a run of red lights on your way to work, you will notice everytime you stop at a red light, but it's not because the lights are out to get you- it's just coincidence.

They were all our patients at a primary care office so they were not referred to us. All young children who came in for extreme thirst for the last few weeks.

We had the first patient diagnosed last week and it was a shock to the entire practice, and the physicians at that time commented that there hasnt been a dx in some time. Then we had one on Friday and another yesterday. I havent talked to the physicians yet but i definitely will. My nurse manager is aware, i just want to make sure that this is handled correctly.

Its likely a coincidence, but this has nothing to do with me being hyper-aware.

They were all our patients at a primary care office so they were not referred to us. All young children who came in for extreme thirst for the last few weeks.

We had the first patient diagnosed last week and it was a shock to the entire practice, and the physicians at that time commented that there hasnt been a dx in some time. Then we had one on Friday and another yesterday. I havent talked to the physicians yet but i definitely will. My nurse manager is aware, i just want to make sure that this is handled correctly.

Its likely a coincidence, but this has nothing to do with me being hyper-aware.

Look, I'm just pointing out that seeing a few (you said yourself that it's a small office) patients with Type I all of a sudden is not significant. If you have a small number to start out with, then any variation- like seeing a couple more patients of a previously rare diagnosis, is going to seem like a huge uptick, but it's not. Its just coincidence.

Wow. I bet those numbers are only going to go up. Were the children overweight or obese? If so, it might be a high fructose corn sugar infection...

Wow. I bet those numbers are only going to go up. Were the children overweight or obese? If so, it might be a high fructose corn sugar infection...

A high fructose corn sugar infection??? For a type I? No doubt caused by using the microwave too much. Or getting a flu shot.

Wow. I bet those numbers are only going to go up. Were the children overweight or obese? If so, it might be a high fructose corn sugar infection...

Huh??

Something must have flown over my head because I'm so confused by the last 3 posts. :confused:

Anyway, is it really all that rare to have a child diagnosed with Type I diabetes? I'm actually more surprised that your doctor's office doesn't see more of it. I'm with the ones who say it's coincidence. Three kids doesn't seem like all that many. It's just that they happened to all get diagnosed at the same time. Maybe it has to do with all the halloween candy they ate last week. :rolleyes:

Huh??

Yeah oops! Type I is auto-immune related and not obesity related. Sorry!

Yeah oops! Type I is auto-immune related and not obesity related. Sorry!

You still haven't explained what "high fructose corn sugar infection" is.

Yeah oops! Type I is auto-immune related and not obesity related. Sorry!

I think it was the "corn sugar infection" that made me scratch my head. Unless it's jokingly referring to kids eating too much fattening foods... my brain is cooked from too much studying, and appear to have lost my sense of humor...

Baloney Amputation, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

Wow. I bet those numbers are only going to go up. Were the children overweight or obese? If so, it might be a high fructose corn sugar infection...

Um...we're talking type 1, not type 2. :confused:

OP--Three cannot really indicate an influx, even in a small office. I'd only say something along the lines of educating families about the general signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 if you are so inclined. I think alerting people to the possibility of a virus out there causing more DM type 1 than usual for your office is likely to cause more worry than awareness. It also may unnecessarily cause those already diagnosed with type 1 to be treated as carriers of some communicable disease. DM type 1 already makes a kid different enough from his peers.

Since you cannot say with confidence that these children had a virus causing their diabetes type 1, I think it would be a bad idea to worry parents with this idea. There is obviously enough trouble out there distinguishing between type 1 and type 2 diabetes (as we can see above), so giving parents with varying ability to understand medical knowledge this information about a virus causing type 1 DM is asking for more trouble than necessary. You cannot prevent the virus to my knowledge, if that is indeed the culprit, so giving this information before any diagnosis or suspicion of DM type 1 is unnecessary. It IS necessary that the parents recognize signs and symptoms of DM type 1 and know the difference between DM type 1 and DM type 2.

mustlovepoodles, RN

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

Something must have flown over my head because I'm so confused by the last 3 posts. :confused:

Anyway, is it really all that rare to have a child diagnosed with Type I diabetes? I'm actually more surprised that your doctor's office doesn't see more of it. I'm with the ones who say it's coincidence. Three kids doesn't seem like all that many. It's just that they happened to all get diagnosed at the same time. Maybe it has to do with all the halloween candy they ate last week. :rolleyes:

I believe the number is something like 1 in 500 kids, can't seem to put my finger on that piece of info. But in my practice as a school nurse, that figure has been accurate. My last school had 900 students, 3 with type 1 diabetes. My current school is 400 students, 2 with type 1 diabetes. There's no reason for the whole office to be shocked and stunned. It's a little odd that they would all be diagnosed within a few weeks of each other, but really, you'd expect in a pediatric practice of 1500 children that there would be AT LEAST 3 with diabetes.

Baloney Amputation, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

I see I was posting at the same time that the "HFCS infection" statement was being cleared up as above. :)

Edited by Baloney Amputation

If this is a smallish town or city it may be a case of parents talking...... Ex: Little Susie is thirsty all the time......My friend at work said her nephew was thirsty all the time and he just got diagnosed with diabetes...... maybe I should take Susie to the Dr...... So a lot of kids get diagnosed at once instead of being spread out over months.

Edited by HappyBunnyNurse

Tell those parents to stop feeding their kids junk food