From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA:
Hi, I am 16 years old, and I am not a diagnosed diabetic, but I have a lot of symptoms for diabetes mellitus (thirsty, dry mouth, numbness/tingling in my feet, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea/vomiting/"near vomiting", hungry a lot even when I eat, infection, slow-healing sores/cuts). I also have what the endocrinologist calls acanthosis nigricans, which surprised me because I've heard it doesn't affect many of the white population. I am overweight, which is also another factor that can help boost my risk. What's more is I get symptoms of hyperglycemia mostly (I only get hypoglycemia symptoms in the morning if I don't eat breakfast) and there is nothing I can do, in my power, I mean.
Lately I have been doing research on diabetes, too, so I know what's up. But I dislike doctors--from bad experiences, and haven't been for months. I'm not afraid of illnesses and junk, but I'm nervous about everything, you know? My dad is no help to me with any of my health problems, denial. So really, I need to do something like get tested for diabetes, but I have no way to mentally get to the point of going back to the endo. What can I do? I would appreciate help!
It is not hard to get screened for diabetes. And despite your good reading, you don't know everything "what's up."
But if you are indeed overweight, and have acanthosis nigricans (and it certainly affects the Caucasian population!) and you have the various symptoms, I think you are wise to be screened again for diabetes.
As for your fear of doctors, I'm sorry my friend, but if you have an illness, you will be cared for by doctors. You don't take your car to the popcorn vendor for fixing; you don't have the dentist come and fix your leaky bathroom sink. Go to people who are trained to do what they need to do!
Must you see an endocrinologist? Not necessarily at this time, yet. Perhaps you just need to begin a relationship and rapport with the right office. Some offices have nurse practitioners, whom you may feel less intimidated by. You are old enough that perhaps you can go to a gynecologist. Any primary care provider (family practitioner, gynecologist, pediatrician) as well as endocrinologist should be able to screen you for diabetes. In fact, I'd have you start with your primary care provider. But they will like want a fasting blood test (preferably from a needle stick in the arm and not just a "fingerstick") and will probably want to measure the glucose, the insulin, the lipid profile (cholesterol and fats), and perhaps other tests. They may need a urine collection.
The Children's Hospital in your city is internationally known for it's care and research for children with diabetes and overweight teens with related issues! You may wish to ask for a referral.
Get it done. Not knowing and worrying is more anxiety provoking than getting the facts and formulating a plan!
Original posting 11 Feb 2004
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:54
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