Symptoms of diabetes and flu often confused


St. Louis, Missouri: The similarities between symptoms of diabetes and gastrointestinal flu symptoms can be dangerously misleading, said Philip Cryer, M.D., president of the American Diabetes Association, Missouri affiliate.

"Across the country, an estimated 4,000 or more children and young adults may develop type I diabetes," he predicted. "Too often, the symptoms are confused with a flu-like illness or gastroenteritis." Dr. Cryer cautioned that the public should be alerted to the major warning signs of type I diabetes, including unusual thirst, frequent urination, nausea and rapid weight loss. Vomiting and fatigue may also occur. (Type I diabetes differs from type II in several respects: type I is the result of a damaged pancreas that cannot produce insulin, whereas type II, also referred to as maturity onset diabetes, can be controlled with diet because the organ retains the ability to produce some insulin. Type I is also known as juvenile diabetes.)

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