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November 8, 2006

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Chennai, India:

My 11 year old son is having sinus problems. For the past month, he has had pus formation in the nose. If we give antibiotics, it will go away, but it comes back. This has happened four or five times. When we consulted our doctor, he asked us to go for diabetes check-up. My own sister’s daughter has had type 1 diabetes for 10 years. So, my son had a blood test. His fasting blood sugar was 107 mg/dl [5.9 mmol/L] and his postprandial blood sugar was 142 mg/dl [7.9 mmol/L]. We did the tests twice. Now, he is feeling hungrier. Our doctor told us the nose infection is because of diabetes, since he may have borderline sugar. What is your expert opinion?


From: DTeam Staff

Based on your description, I do not think that your son has diabetes now. He may or may not be at higher or risk of have “pre-diabetes.”

You did not give information as to whether or not your son has had a change in urinary and thirst habits or weight changes. Increased hunger and appetite can accompany diabetes but, more often, there is increased urine production and increased thirst. In patients with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent, “juvenile-onset” diabetes), there is also typically weight loss.

You may wish to read about Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes on this web site to review the definitions of diabetes. If you child’s doctor is that suspicious, perhaps he or she will want to perform a proper oral glucose tolerance test.

Finally, confirmation of borderline higher glucoses should be made with a sample of serum for the vein, not a fingerstick glucose monitor.