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November 26, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Other

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Question from Nottingham, England:

I urged my boyfriend to go to his general practitioner as he was constantly irritable, which isn’t like him. The doctor told him to bring a sample of the first urine he passed in the morning after waking up. She tested it and found no sugar traces. Does that completely rule out diabetes? I don’t want to hassle him about going back to the doctor if there really wasn’t anything wrong.

He’s been urinating more frequently for the last couple of weeks and he said that he’s been more thirsty than normal for a similar amount of time. I asked and he said that he can drink nothing in a day and he will still urinate three or four times. Anything he does drink seems to be urinated out within an hour. He generally gets up about once to go to the bathroom at night, but never anymore than this. He’s a deep sleeper. Would this make a difference?

His appetite has slowly increased over the last month or so, although he’s always eaten quite a lot. I read that weight loss was sometimes a symptom, but at what level? He looks like he might have lost some weight, but then he’s always been skinny. He’s looking a little paler too, but that could just be our dark and dingy British autumn!

Is the urine test an accurate test for diabetes? Is there anything else you think he might have?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

It is good he had no glucose in the urine tested. However, the best test of all is a fasting laboratory glucose measured in a clinical laboratory. It is possible not to spill glucose in the urine and still have an elevated glucose in the blood. However, it makes it much less likely the extreme symptoms are from diabetes if there were no glucose. The elevated glucose in the urine serves to pull water with it and causes the frequent urination. There is another condition called diabetes insipidus that causes frequent urination. Associated with it is a marked abnormality in the serum sodium with high values being present. This would also require a blood test at the clinical laboratory.

JSH