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July 15, 2007

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Hypoglycemia

Question from Painesville, Ohio, USA:

I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia about two weeks ago while I was sick with a cold. Since then, my doctor told me to test my blood sugar on my own with a glucometer. Since doing so, I have noticed that I have higher than normal sugar levels. I was at 115 mg/dl [6.3 mmol/L] after fasting all night, then 90 mg/dl [5.0 mmol/L] about three hours after eating. Then, three and a half hours later, I wasn't feeling right so I checked and I was up to 95 mg/dl [5.2 mmol/L]. The next day, I tested again at similar times with similar results. Today, I started at 89 mg/dl [4.9 mmol/L], which is normal. I was 110 mg/dl [6.1 mmol/L] about three hours later, then 115 mg/dl [6.3 mmol/L] before eating again. Now, before bed, I'm at 98 mg/dl [5.4 mmol/L]. I have had symptoms of fatigue, increased urination, increased hunger and thirst, and blurry eyes. Two weeks ago, I had a random blood test. Do you think I need to go back to the doctor for a glucose tolerance test?

Answer:

Sometimes hypoglycemia can be the forerunner of diabetes, so you should contact your physician and consider consultation with a pediatric/adolescent diabetes specialist who can help assess the situation in more detail. Some of your blood glucose levels are slightly high. Sometimes this happens following hypoglycemia as the body corrects and then “overshoots” the correction. But, sometimes this also indicates the beta cells of the pancreas “under autoimmune attack” but still not always insulin deficient. Staying away from lots of sugary foods and simple carbohydrates can help not stress the beta cells. Antibody tests and other tests may help determine what is really going on now and how you should be monitoring and being monitored.

SB