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November 14, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Corpus Christi, Texas, USA:

My husband and I are concerned that our five year old son may have diabetes. We test all three of our boys periodically with my husband's meter, and within the past three months, my son has had some high readings, the highest being over 200 mg/dl [11.mmol/L]. Also, six out of seven of my husband's immediate family members have type 2 diabetes. We made an appointment with our pediatrician the very next day where fasting blood test and urine was were normal. He sometimes displays symptoms of diabetes, but not consistently. Should we ask for more testing? Should we be concerned?

Answer:

What you should do is continue to monitor for symptoms of diabetes, and, if he has a further period of symptoms, have him formally re-tested and checked for urine infection. My own view is that it is not a good practice to randomly test family members who don’t have diabetes. This encourages a culture of fear. It’s different is symptoms supervene.

KJR