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February 17, 2005

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Caledonia, Minnesota, USA:

My three year old daughter has seen a endocrinologist three different times now for suspected diabetes. A year ago, they gave me a blood glucose monitor, so we have tested her off and on. The highest reading I have ever gotten was 198 mg/dl [11.0 mmol/L]. We took her in a week ago because, for the first time, her urine smelled very strange, sweet-like. Once again, they took blood and did an A1c, which read 5.1%. Her blood sugar level was normal at 72 mg/dl [4.0 mmol/L]. Her urinalysis didn't show any gross elevation in the amount of protein in the urine and did not reveal any sugar either. I guess what I don't understand is why I get some elevated sugar levels like today when they have all been elevated. On other days, I know I have gotten normal readings, too. And, she carries so many of the signs of having diabetes yet, right now, her tests are showing otherwise. What do you think could be the cause?

Answer:

She doesn’t have diabetes. Sometimes tests will show occasional high glucose levels. I don’t know what to make of it to be honest with you. If you are worried, continue to test, but for now it is not diabetes. No one can tell you whether it will progress. We can tell you we can’t prevent diabetes at present. You should ask them to look for antibodies. If positive, it will let you know what is going to happen. If negative, she is not likely to get diabetes in the next few years.

LD