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July 29, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from La Grange, Georgia, USA:

My paternal grandmother has diabetes, and so did her mother. I am unsure of what type of diabetes my great grandmother had or that my grandmother has. I have also had two children, one of whom weighed 9 pounds, but I was never diagnosed with gestational diabetes, though I had the two hour test twice during my pregnancy. Do these factors put me at risk for developing diabetes? Also, I have been feeling ill for several months, particularly the last two months. I feel exhausted most of the time, I feel ill to my stomach of queasy after eating, and alot of times in the morning as well. I get lightheaded or feel dizzy several times a week, sometimes several times a day. Sometimes I get the shakes for no apparent reason, and especially this last week I have had body aches all over like I have the flu. I have tested negative for pregnancy and confirmed that with a OBGYN visit. I have tried a multivitamin to see if that would help me feel better, but it has been of little help. I at times get blurry vision or see spots. The only thing that seems to help me feel better is eating or drinking something high in sugar, for example pudding and orange juice or candy. It is affecting my everyday life and I often get moody. Is there a chance that I could have diabetes? Should I see a physician for testing?

Answer:

Your family and obstetric history suggests a rather modestly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

DOB

[Editor’s comment: Your symptoms are not the classic ones for diabetes. Blood sugar testing at your doctor’s office would be the conclusive way to make or exclude the diagnosis.

WWQ]