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January 19, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from America on Line:

I am 16 years old and I'm showing many signs of diabetes. At first my mother and I thought it was hypoglycemia, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There is strong history of diabetes showing up in older people in my family. Is there any connection between the diabetes I might have and the diabetes they have? If I do have it, would I have type 1?


Good question.

The best way to tell is to look for antibodies. Tests for islet cell antibodies and other antibodies are available. Likewise, we can see if you are making the normal amount or too much insulin by measuring fasting and stimulated C-peptide a byproduct of insulin secretion. I know this sounds complicated, but a good endocrinologist can look into this.


[Editor’s comment: The first place to start is with a visit to your doctor to talk about your symptoms and have some blood sugars checked. If you are truly having symptoms of diabetes, it is important that you do this as soon as possible.