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From Palmer, Alaska, USA:

My three and a half year old granddaughter was taken to the ER this morning with a very high fever, and the doctor thinks she has a bacterial blood infection, but also mentioned that her sugar was high so she has to go back in 24 hours. and the blood test results should be back by then. What does it mean when they say her sugar is high?

There is diabetes on both sides of the family, and I was under the impression that type 1 diabetes was caused by a virus. Does this mean she is going to have diabetes now? I'm really concerned about this.


What is generally meant by a high blood sugar is a level of glucose in a fasting blood sample that is over 106 mg/dl (5.9 mmol). In diagnosing diabetes a fasting blood sugar of >126mg/dl (7.0 mmol) and a random level of >200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol) is considered diagnostic of diabetes, but in small children, the stress of visiting the doctor's office, of finger sticks and a sense of parental anxiety can very easily raise the blood sugar to abnormal levels. To get around this, samples need to be taken by a very experienced person preferably using a butterfly needle. Another way to relieve the parental anxiety if the blood sugar level did seem to be elevated would be to ask the doctor about getting an antibody test. If this was negative, the likelihood of your granddaughter getting type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes would be very small indeed.

The present evidence is that type 1A diabetes is not caused by a virus infection around the time of diagnosis, although in a small number of cases there is a definite association between maternal rubella and Coxsackie B virus infections and later diabetes.


Original posting 23 Oct 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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