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June 7, 2009

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Whitehouse, Texas, USA:

How high can a non-diabetic child's bloodsugar get?


We have answered many questions about the Diagnosis and Symptoms of diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is defined by the plasma or serum glucose, measured in a laboratory (and NOT a portable glucose monitor checking “fingersticks”) under one of the following three conditions:

If the FASTING serum/plasma glucose is more than 125 mg/dL [7.0 mmol/L](“greater or equal to 126 mg/dL [7.0 mmol/L])

If a RANDOM (meaning done anytime without regard to meals) serum/plasma glucose is greater or equal to 200 mg/dL [11.1 mmol/L] BUT WITH THE PRESENCE OF SYMPTOMS of DIABETES MELLITUS (such as increased thirst, increased urination but there are others).

If the serum/plasma glucose at the two hour mark of a properly performed, formal oral glucose tolerance test is greater or equal to 200 mg/dL [11.1 mmol/L] (without regard to symptoms).

There are further definitions on our page on the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes.

Too commonly, a family will check another’s “fingerstick” glucose on someone else’s portable glucose meter without proper instruction as to how to best prepare the skin or without understanding as to the inherent error (albeit minimal) in such devices and then get anxious if there is diabetes. Under the circumstances where someone might be concerned about the presence of diabetes, it is best to seek the consultation of a primary care physician, preferably one who knows the patient from other interactions and exam.

Hope this answers your question.