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June 2, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Covington, Louisiana, USA:

On several occasions, I have noticed that my 21 month old daughter's blood sugar is higher than normal. It usually runs around 100 mg/dl [5.6 mmol/L], but there have been quite a few times that it has been in the 150-180 mg/dl [8.3-10 mmol/L] range. I called the pediatric endocrinologist in my area who said not to worry unless she was over 200 mg/dl [11.1mmol/L], which to me sounds very risky. I worry about this because I have type 1 diabetes. I was misdiagnosed with gestational diabetes when I was 26 weeks pregnant. The reason that I call it a misdiagnosis is because my obstetric nurse commented on the high levels of sugar in my urine from the first visit until the glucose tolerance test. Several months after my daughter was born, I was feeling ill with all of the symptoms of diabetes, and when I checked my blood sugar, it was nearly 700 mg/dl [38.9 mmol/L]. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then a bit later with type 1. I have GAD antibodies, and I am very insulin sensitive. What do you think that I should do to make sure that she is safe and any problems are prevented? Do you think that she will be diagnosed with diabetes later in life like I was?

Answer:

From Covington, Louisiana, USA:

On several occasions, I have noticed that my 21 month old daughter’s blood sugar is higher than normal. It usually runs around 100 mg/dl [5.6 mmol/L], but there have been quite a few times that it has been in the 150-180 mg/dl [8.3-10 mmol/L] range. I called the pediatric endocrinologist in my area who said not to worry unless she was over 200 mg/dl [11.1mmol/L], which to me sounds very risky.

I worry about this because I have type 1 diabetes. I was misdiagnosed with gestational diabetes when I was 26 weeks pregnant. The reason that I call it a misdiagnosis is because my obstetric nurse commented on the high levels of sugar in my urine from the first visit until the glucose tolerance test. Several months after my daughter was born, I was feeling ill with all of the symptoms of diabetes, and when I checked my blood sugar, it was nearly 700 mg/dl [38.9 mmol/L]. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then a bit later with type 1. I have GAD antibodies, and I am very insulin sensitive.

What do you think that I should do to make sure that she is safe and any problems are prevented? Do you think that she will be diagnosed with diabetes later in life like I was?

DOB
Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

These sound like abnormal blood glucose levels which could mean an early diabetes state with or without positive pancreatic antibodies. I would suggest consultation with a pediatric diabetes specialist so that appropriate testing and monitoring can take place.

SB