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September 2, 1999

Daily Care

Question from California, USA:

My 12 year old niece has diabetes. It's the type where she has to have shots twice a day. Her average is 190. Is this high? I don't believe her mom takes care of her that well. She is only being tested once a day at school. Today and a week ago it is saying "check ketones" on her machine. Is this bad?


Generally we give 3 or 4 shots a day to an adolescent like your niece. An average of 190 looks a bit high even though HbA1c is a better indication of the average metabolic control. Home blood sugar monitoring is advised to be done at least three times a day before meals.

Additional comments from Dr. Quick:

Some brands of blood glucose meters are preprogrammed to display a message such as “check ketones” when the blood sugar is very high. So, this message is another indicator that her blood sugars are high (and high enough that she should also check for urine ketones). If she is not under the care of a diabetes team used to dealing with kids and teens, it’d be a good idea to help arrange an evaluation.