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June 12, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from St. Louis, Missouri, USA:

My daughter, who will be six in two weeks, is showing some symptoms of diabetes. She has complained for months that her tummy hurts, her whole body hurts, and her head hurts. She is often thirsty and has been extremely irritable at times. I have taken her to the doctor several times and the best thing her pediatrician could come up with was acid reflux. She is now taking Zantac once a day, but still isn't feeling well at times. Yesterday morning, she was complaining she didn't feel well and threw up once. I am a type 1 diabetic, so, this morning, I checked her fasting blood sugar using the "finger-stick" method and the reading was 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L]. Shortly after that, I checked her urine for glucose and it was positive. Does this mean it is very likely she is diabetic or am I just paranoid?

Answer:

A fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L] with sugar in the urine is clearly abnormal and requires at the very least, further testing. I would suggest reviewing the criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes found at Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes and discussing your concerns with your pediatrician as soon as possible.

MSB