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July 4, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Roswell, Georgia, USA:

I am 45 years old, I have been under a lot of stress, and recently, I had a body odor that smelled almost like soured sweat. I took several showers trying to get rid of it with no luck. My adopted father had diabetes so I knew what the smell was that I was smelling. A friend told me to check my own blood sugar and it was 194 mg/dl [10.8 mmol/L] fasting and 214 mg/dl [11.9 mmol/L] about a half hour after I ate. Should I call my doctor or should I wait and see if can get it to come down on my own with diet?

Answer:

As you well know, the blood sugars you found by testing at home are much higher than normal. The stress of surgery and family can cause blood sugars to rise but, if you are able to make enough insulin, the blood sugars wouldn’t rise outside of normal range. Because high blood sugars can impact your ability to heal and handle stress, I would strongly urge you to see your physician and be tested for diabetes.

If your blood sugars confirm that you have diabetes, you can then get treated early and aggressively before any problems occur. Elevated blood sugars may not make a person feel sick, but they do put your blood vessels at risk for problems down the road.

I would also recommend that you seek assistance from a diabetes educator. Much has changed since your adopted father had diabetes! The old diabetic diet is no longer used and people can lead normal, enjoyable lives with diabetes well managed. It’s no longer necessary to give up a good life to be a good diabetic! The old ways weren’t helpful and no one could do it. If you do not know a diabetes educator in your area, you can call 1-800-TEAM UP 4 for a listing.

KS