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April 7, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Plymouth, Pennsylvania, USA:

If a child is admitted to the hospital with high sugar levels and DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis], is it standard practice to identify whether the child has type 1 or type 2 diabetes? If so, what tests are done at time of admission? What factors would definitively identify the child as having either type 1 or type 2? Is judgment made simply on the physical symptoms present at the time of admission (age, sugar levels, etc.)?


Other tests are not always indicated. Depending on the history and physical examination, the age of the child and family history, frequently a definitive diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes can be made. Other tests are helpful when the definitive diagnosis is in question.