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May 6, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Shreveport, Louisiana, USA:

For about a year and a half, my 26 month old son has been having all the symptoms of diabetes. There have been times when I told my husband that his breath smelled like fruit. It was strange. I didn't think anything about it at the time. He was lethargic several times. The doctor would always tell me he was dehydrated, would give him a sucker and water and he would come around. Since I have type 2 diabetes myself, I started testing my son and found his fasting blood sugar to be about 150-200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] and He has had several readings in the 200-400 mg/dl [11.1-22,2 mmol/L] range, but when I took him to the doctor, it was 42 mg/dl [2.3 mmol/L]. Why is this happening? I don't understand why the highs and lows are so unpredictable. His pediatrician doesn't know so we are waiting to see a pediatric endocrinologist. Any suggestions?

Answer:

Taking your son to see a pediatric endocrinologist is a good idea. Are you sure about your technique for glucose testing (clean hands, good sample, quality controls, etc.)? Be sure you have quality data prior to your visit.

Your son may have a form of hypoglycemia. Sort it out with the pediatric endocrinologist. There are varieties that cause ketones in the blood/urine or other metabolic problems.

LD