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May 18, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Chelsea, Oklahoma, USA:

My son has had type 1 diabetes for five years. His older sister often will exhibit all the symptoms of low blood sugar, and when we check her sugar she is 40-50 mg/dl [2.2-2.8 mmol/L]. On a day when she is feeling fine and having no symptoms of hypoglycemia, her glucose is normal. Is this something we should be concerned with?

Answer:

Given the family history of type 1 diabetes in a first degree relative, this form of hypoglycemia may indicate the very earliest stages of diabetes and is due to inappropriate insulin excretion over the long prodromic phase of the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cellsantibody testing in order to evaluate this possible diagnosis.

MS