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August 7, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Simi Valley, California, USA:

I am 32 years old, my father died 18 years ago from complications of type 1 diabetes, and I don't think I have it, but I am monitoring my blood sugar at home because I had few high ones at my doctor's office. I eat very well lately (very little sugar except 2-3 pieces of fruit per day), but in general have been a sugar-holic prior to beginning to monitor. My blood sugar has been running 93-196 mg/dl [5.2-10.9 mmol/L]. About 26 hours before the 196 mg/dl [10.9 mmol/L] reading, I ate chocolates and chocolate ice cream. A few hours after, my blood sugar was 116 mg/dl [mmol/L], then fasting the next morning it was 99 mg/dl [mmol/L] so I figured I must have no real problem. That evening, one hour after dinner, my level was 196 mg/dl [mmol/L]. This was also about three hours after 4.6 miles/1.25 hours of brisk walking on the treadmill. Do my values sound normal to you? Could the 196 mg/dl [10.9 mmol/L] be a result of the sweets I ate 26 hours earlier or the exercise I did three hours earlier? Also, that night after the 196 mg/dl [10.9 mmol/L], I was having chills, and didn't feel great.


The numbers are not dramatically high but are questionable. You need to go to your physician and have an appropriate test performed for the diagnosis of diabetes. I would suggest a fasting glucose or a 75g oral glucose tolerance test. These tests are more reproducible and have more sensitivity and specificity than a home blood sugar on a meter.