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January 31, 2018

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from London, United Kingdom:

My 16-year-old daughter has had some symptoms of diabetes for over four weeks. She has thirst and frequent urination, as well as a constant headache, dizziness, and fatigue. At 5 feet, 1 inch tall, she weighs 51 kg (112 pounds), after a gradual loss of 2 kg (4 pounds) due to a reduced appetite. She had a blood test and her A1c was 42, which the doctor thought was normal. After doing some research, I found it it is pre-diabetic. Her symptoms are largely varying day to day with some being worse then others. She is also waking up to pee some nights. Should I be concerned that it could it be diabetes?

Answer:

It does not sound normal, so I would get a consultation with a diabetes specialist, not a general practitioner or family doctor. She may need some home blood glucose monitoring and/or formal glucose tolerance testing as well as some other laboratory testing, such as followup A1c levels, insulin levels, consideration for insulin resistance or polycystic ovaries if also overweight, has acanthosis nigricans, and/or menstrual problems. She definitely needs further follow-up.

SB