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January 16, 2008

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Eagle Mountain, Utah, USA:

Type 1 diabetes is really prevalent on my husband's side. His dad, brother, himself and a step-sister who is six years old have type 1. I am concerned that my four-year-old daughter might have it as well. She has been going to the bathroom a lot and drinking more than usual. Her blood sugar tested 160 mg/dl [8.8 mmol/L] (using my husband's meter) 30 minutes after eating. She tested 99 mg/dl [5.5 mmol/L] an hour later. We took her to the doctor and we are waiting for the test results of her urine sample. The doctor said that it is most likely not type 1, but I was under the impression that a person who is NOT diabetic will never have a blood sugar of over 140 mg/dl [7.7 mmol/L], even after eating a few candy bars. I have taken my blood sugar (being non-diabetic) after eating a sugary meal and mine is constant between 80 mg/dl [4.4 mmol/L] and 90 mg/dl [4.9 mmol/L]. Assuming she has type 1, am I catching it at an early stage or honeymoon stage since I've been very aware of the symptoms and what they are? I really hope that it's just me worrying, but I can't help but think that it might be type 1 with the history in our family.

Answer:

Occasionally we see blood sugars like 160 mg/dl [8.8 mmol/L], so you need not panic, but be alert. Ask your doctor to run some antibody tests for her. These tests can also help predict the development of diabetes. In the meantime, be sure to contact your doctor if you encounter any blood sugars over 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L], especially in the presence of symptoms.

LD