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April 17, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Georgetown, Indiana, USA:

I am a 50 year old Vietnam veteran, and since diabetes is one of the diseases happening to veterans exposed to Agent Orange, I have been doing a fasting glucose test daily for the past month. My meter readings have been 107-137 mg/dl [5.9-7.6 mmol/L], with seven readings over 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L]. I told my doctor who said that it was nothing to be concerned about, but I thought that a fasting reading of over 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L] on two readings meant that you had diabetes. Please enlighten me.

Answer:

You need to have glucoses done by a laboratory to make a diagnosis, but this sounds like a problem to me that at least needed to be looked at. Try checking a few blood glucoses one to two hours after meals. Those if high could trigger a response.

LD

[Editor’s comment: Even though a meter cannot be used for diagnostic purposes and it would be interesting to see what your postprandial blood glucose values are, I would go back to your doctor and ask to have a formal fasting blood glucose, tested on a venous blood sample. See Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes.

Also see Dioxin and Diabetes, at the Diabetes Monitor, for links to more information about Agent Orange (dioxin) and diabetes.

WWQ]