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May 23, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Fargo, North Dakota, USA:

Both my 17 year old daughter and I have diabetes, and my almost nine year old son had an episode of extreme thirst a few days ago. (He drank five glasses of water in about one-half hour.) I checked his blood sugar at 10:00 pm which was 177 mg/dl [9.8 mmol/L], and a fasting blood sugar the next morning was 107 mg/dl [5.9 mmol/L]. I went to school at 9:30 am and checked, (he had just got done playing basketball for 20 minutes), and was 98 mg/dl [5.4 mmol/L]. At suppertime it was 170 mg/dl [9.4 mmol/L], bedtime was 129 mg/dl [7.2 mmol/L], and another fasting the nest morning was 94 mg/dl [5.2 mmol/L]. Does my son have diabetes? Do you think I need to take him in?

Answer:

Your son’s blood glucose numbers are not normal, but certainly not consistently abnormal. You should talk to your child’s endocrinologist and get antibody testing done. Also, certainly keep a close watch with some weights, ketones checks, and keep doing more blood glucose readings since he may be developing diabetes.

SB

[Editor’s comment: While waiting for things to get sorted out, there is one situation that would call for emergency attention: if your son were to develop nausea or vomiting, together with high sugars and ketones, it would be a medical emergency (DKA) that would need immediate medical attention.

WWQ]