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September 1, 2005

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from West Yorkshire, United Kingdom:

I posted here in 1998 stating that I had symptoms of diabetes, but my glucose intolerance test and clinical blood test proved negative. However, the BDA had advised me to keep testing with a home meter. My home meter consistently gave readings of over 13 mmol/L [234 mg/dl]. I was tested again a few months later, with a random blood test at my doctor's office, and my blood sugar was 15 mmol/L [270 mg/dl]. The answer I received on this site corroborated the initial opinion, but following the random test, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Why would my initial laboratory tests be okay followed by a diagnosis of type 1? I found it very difficult getting advice and help, and being taken seriously, when I know that I was right all along. Of course, I wish that I hadn't been. Why is this so often the case?

Answer:

I am sorry that you had your first impressions verified. It may have been that the symptoms you experienced were intermittent and based on periodic changes in diet and activity. When you went for your test, your diet and activity may have been more favorable to a negative test. It is conjecture at this point. I am not sure what you are asking when you say, “Why is this so often the case?” You live with your body every day. If something is not right, even though you have been dismissed by a healthcare professional, you have to stand up for yourself and be your own advocate. A physician should listen to someone who repeatedly indicates something is not right. I am sorry you had this experience. The usual description of the OGTT is that it is overly sensitive, rather than poorly sensitive (as it was in your case).

JTL