Three-month-old Ivana Das from Kolkata was brought to Chennai with high blood sugar levels and was diagnosed with neonatal diabetes. Neonatal diabetes affects infants below six months of age.
Ivana developed high fever when she was just 15 days old and would be sleeping most of the time. Her blood sugar level was not normal though she was on insulin doses four times a day. So her blood sample was sent to Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre for genetic testing. The child was diagnosed with neonatal diabetes, which occurs due to a gene mutation.
Dr. V. Mohan, Chairman of Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, said, "Genetic analysis has to be done for such babies to find out if there is mutation in a gene. If confirmed, insulin intake has to stop and they have to switch to oral medicines which are to be taken throughout their life.
After the diagnosis, the child was admitted to the Centre and was slowly taken off insulin doses and switched to oral diabetics tablets.
"Medicines bring blood sugar levels under control better than insulin. But many are not even aware of a disease called neonatal diabetes and about facilities available for genetic testing. Thus, finding out an exact number children suffering from neonatal diabetes is difficult," said Dr Mohan.