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November 24, 1999

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from California, Missouri, USA:

I am a 39 year old white female. About 10 years ago, I became extremely ill with fatigue, weight loss and vomiting. For almost a year I went back and forth to the doctor telling them that there was something wrong because I just didn’t feel well. Finally, I was hospitalized with kidney failure (interstitial nephritis) with no apparent cause. My creatinine level was 22 [an extremely elevated value] when they finally figured it out but Prednisone healed my kidneys to 60% and now I’m doing okay.

I have always wondered what could have caused it. A couple years ago I was having trouble with blurred vision that just seemed to come and go. The doctor gave me a glucose test and I was told that I have reactive high blood sugar. They prescribed a 1400 calorie diet and I have to eat every four hours and pretend sugar lives on another planet. They’ve never said I actually have diabetes, but from research I’ve read on the Internet I believe it probably is.

I was under a lot of stress back then — 4 stair-step aged children, a husband who wanted out and financial difficulties. My husband was recently diagnosed as diabetic and I’ve been using his monitor to check my blood sugar. It is almost always in the normal range but my feet still swell and ache and if I am not consciously eating every four hours I get very blurry vision. Should I get a second opinion on reactive high blood sugar diagnosis? Would you agree that I experienced stress hyperglycemia and that probably caused the kidney failure? Why wouldn’t they have discovered that in all of my medical testing? I spent 12 weeks in a Medical Center. Any ideas you can give me or anything I can tell my doctor to enhance treatment would be greatly appreciated.


From: DTeam Staff

The diagnostic criteria for diabetes and related conditions was changed in 1997. I am guessing the when you had your diagnosis of “reactive high blood sugar” is was before that change. I would suggest you talk to your doctor again about having your blood sugar retested using a laboratory machine.

Stress can have a huge impact on your blood sugar and I would highly recommend you discuss this again with your current physician or get a second opinion from someone you respect.