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August 12, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA:

Recently, when my nine year old son had to have an endoscopy, that doctor had ordered a fasting blood sugar which was 148 mg/dl [8.2 mmol/L] and suggested testing for prediabetes. My son was very nervous about this endoscopy and if I remember correctly, he used his albuterol inhaler prior to the blood test. I have scheduled an appointment with his primary care physician, but it's two weeks away. Should I be as worried as I am that he has diabetes? Should I do a finger-stick test on him? How long should he fast if I do a fingerstick test?

Answer:

If it is diabetes, the glucose will show up on the lab testing. Testing for prediabetes isn’t that emergent.

LD

[Editor’s comment: I agree with Dr Deeb that your son’s situation does not appear to be an emergency. It is possible for stress to have caused the elevated reading.

However, it is important to do the follow-up testing as suggested by your son’s physician just to see if diabetes is showing up. I would watch your son for symptoms of diabetes and notify his doctor immediately if you notice them.

SS]