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November 28, 2004

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections, Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Ada, Oklahoma, USA:

My maternal uncle had type 1 diabetes, as does my husbands' brother and 13 year old nephew. My brother-in-law was five when he was diagnosed and my nephew was eight. My five year old has been extremely thirsty, has had urgent urination, extreme whining episodes out of the blue and, more recently, has wet the bed during the night three times in one week. Having lived with her son and experienced first hand diabetes and having been worried for some time, my mother-in-law wanted his blood checked this weekend. My brother-in-law tested his sugar. One reading was 149 mg/dl [8.3 mmol/L] and another was 145 mg/dl [8.1 mmol/L] on Friday. Today, it was 273 mg/dl [15.2 mmol/L] and then it dropped to 133 [7.4 mmol/L] about 90 minutes later after playing football and running around. If he had Coke or something sweet on his finger that was pricked, would that have affected the glucose reading? If the reading was in fact accurate, would the exercise have brought it down that quickly? I am taking him to the doctor Monday morning, but it would make me feel better if I knew the possibility was there that something on his finger could have altered the reading.

Answer:

You are wise to have your son checked. It may have been possible to obtain an erroneously high blood glucose if there was glucose on his fingertip, but having a medical professional assess your son is a good idea.

BS