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March 24, 2009

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Chetopa, Kansas, USA:

I am not sure whether my child has diabetes or not. He is going to the bathroom a lot and is drinking a lot. His blood sugars have been high to me. One morning, he ate a banana and it went to 320 mg/dl [17.8 mmol/L]. I am waiting for a reply from Children's Mercy. What can I expect them to say?

Answer:

Take him to your pediatrician and have the pediatrician contact the pediatric diabetes team immediately. Blood sugars above 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L] are abnormal and 320 mg/dl [17.8 mmol/L] is definitely abnormal, especially with these symptoms. You may also want to buy urine ketostix for check for urine ketones. If abnormal, this is even more urgent. If there were any delay in reaching the doctors, you should go to the emergency room and have the emergency staff contact the diabetes team there. Lastly, while you are waiting, check blood glucose levels before each meal and one hour after each meal since this will also give you some confirmation of how high the blood glucose levels are. Similarly, if these were staying abnormal and especially if rising, contact your doctors or go to the emergency room so that your child does not get dehydrated, go into diabetic ketoacidosis, etc.

SB