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May 2, 2011

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Turkey:

My six-year-old daughter has always been very thin, like me, but, in the past few months, has lost 2 kg [4.4 pounds) even though she has been eating well. She is wet every night. This didn't seem to be getting any better, so we paid a visit to the doctor. My daughter had not eaten for 14 hours and then had blood tests. Her blood sugar level was 108 mg/dl [6 mmol/L]. What does this mean and is there anything I can do to lower it? My daughter rarely eats sweets, drinks only water, not juice. We have to go back to the doctor in a month for another test. Meanwhile, the doctor said to continue with her normal diet and activities.

Answer:

These are good questions! Diabetes is defined two ways… a fasting serum glucose of 126 mg/dl [7.0 mmol/L] on two occasions OR a hemoglobin A1c of over 6.5. Some argue with the A1c, but it could be helpful here in early diabetes diagnosis. Certainly the weight loss and urination are concerning. The urine might contain glucose, too. You could either check blood or urine for glucose at home. Your six-year-old might not object to the urine test. If there were further weight loss or increase in urination or glucose in urine is seen, you should go back sooner. Catching diabetes early is a good idea. She may not have diabetes, you realize, so be watchful.

DS