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From San Jose, California, USA:

My daughter will be 20 in less than one month, and has had Type 1 diabetes for 7 years. She is a brittle diabetic who has had a tendency toward illness and infection since she was a few months old. Every time she gets ill her blood sugars go sky high, with large ketones. Her control is not good.

A year and a half ago she developed a UTI [urinary tract infection] that went into a serious kidney infection which required emergency room treatment for several hours and hospital admittance. She has not been the same since. She now has had several UTIs, and a week and a half ago, it went straight into a kidney infection again, although not as severe as the first one. However, her left kidney (the one that hurt the most the first infection) chronically hurts. She sometimes feels nauseous and faint when it hurts. Further, her physician informed her that her test from several months ago for albumin levels was very high (around 41, I think). Our HMO says the infection is now gone. But her kidney hurts her very much, and she feels very weak and fatigued, and unable to work, or go out of the home since being diagnosed a little over a week ago. The HMO says they will do a kidney scan, but none has been scheduled, and in the meantime her pain is not being addressed, and no explanations have been given as to what is going on or could happen.

From my understanding, her high albumin score indicates possible early kidney disease, and the 2 kidney infections in 18 months could further hurt the kidneys. Why do her kidneys continue to hurt since the first infection? Something is clearly wrong, but we are not getting the answers we want. Her father and I are concerned, and she is too.


It sounds like your daughter needs immediate attention. Her blood sugars should be managed by an endocrinologist who will advise you how to increase the dose with illness to avoid high blood sugars and ketoacidosis. The increased albumin could either be from diabetes related kidney disease and/or the infection. Your daughter should be under the care of a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and possibly needs to be seen also by a urologist (surgeon who operates on anatomic problems of the urinary system.)

I would insist on speaking to a supervisor of your HMO immediately and get the required referrals. If you can not get the required referrals immediately, if at all possible, make an appointment anyway and fight the HMO's later. You cannot ignore a possible ongoing kidney infection which could cause serious damage if untreated.


Original posting 31 May 1998
Posted to Other Illnesses and Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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