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April 25, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

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Question from Georgia, USA:

A month ago, my three year old son complained off and on of not feeling well, but had no other symptoms. Then he began to run a fever of 104F. I called the nurse on call who said to just treat him with Tylenol and bring him into his pediatrician the next morning since he had no other symptoms. On the way to the pediatrician, he became ill, looking yellowish-pale, his hands and feet became extremely cold. By the time we got into the office, he was shaking. They sent us via ambulance to the ER at the children’s hospital nearby because he was shaking and the doctor was concerned he might seize. At the ER, they got him stable and as he was doing better, they gave him 2 popsicles. They quickly perked him up. After several hours, and no blood tests or any other tests, they sent us home. I pushed though for a physical a week later. On his blood workup, he had a blood sugar reading of 41 mg/dl [2.3 mmol/L] and had a slightly abnormal liver reading. This prompted us to go to a pediatric endocrinologist to check for hypoglycemia. The endocrinologist gave us a monitor to check him several times a day and then we were to fax the results. We are waiting to hear back from him. The results were morning readings ranged from 80-100 mg/dl [4.4-5.6 mmol/L] (but this was done 14 hours after eating), afternoon results usually stayed around 120-140 mg/dl [6.7-7.8 mmol/L], with two readings over 170 mg/dl [9.4 mmol/L] (one was fpur hours after eating, the other was and hour and a half). My son has a couple of times during the day when he is completely exhausted and his coloring is off. He will literally stop in the middle of active play to come in and lay down. This is extremely odd for him. He is constantly thirsty and hungry (although he doesn’t seem to eat very much). Could this be related to his blood sugar or should we try another route?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Your pediatric endocrinologist is going to be your best resource to determine if his symptoms are related to blood sugars. A normal blood sugar range is usually around 65-110 mg/dl [3.6-6.1 mmol/L] in someone who does not have diabetes. A blood sugar can be slightly above that after mealtime. Blood sugar readings of 170 mg/dl [9.4 mmol/L] are clearly abnormal and should be followed closely to help determine if your son is at risk for diabetes. In addition, a blood sugar of 41 mg/dl [2.3 mmol/L] is clearly a low blood sugar and will require close follow-up and may require some further testing.

MSB