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February 17, 2006

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Question from Dahlonega, Georgia, USA:

My 14 year old daughter recently complained of a "swimming head" so I checked her blood sugar. I have a meter since I have been type 1 for 15 years. Over the course of three to four days, her blood sugar reached as high as 280 mg/dl [15.6 mmol/L] after drinking soda or a large meal. Her fasting blood sugars were 120 to 130 mg/dl [6.7 to 7.2 mmol/L]. Her insulin level test was normal but her C-Peptide reading was "a little high" according to my doctor. Her readings have returned to normal. Her doctor prescribed a five pound weight loss, diet and exercise. Because her maternal grandmother died from diabetes and heart disease, and I have type 1, should I consult a specialist? We only saw a general practitioner.

Answer:

I tend to use a two hour “postprandial” blood sugar in addition to the fasting blood sugar, especially in overweight teens who may be at risk for type 2 diabetes. This test is done at any laboratory and is called a two hour oral glucose tolerance test (GTT). I wonder if your daughter would benefit from further testing. Your general practitioner should have the expertise to order and interpret this test or you may wish to visit with a board certified pediatrician.

MSB