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July 29, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:

Several months ago, I had frequent urination but my blood tests were normal, and just recently, I have been having dizzy spells and can’t seem to stop eating. When I have these dizzy spells, I get hot flushes and feel that I am about to faint. The headaches are unbearable, and I have had no history of migraines. Also, I am feeling very fatigued and can feel that something is not right with my body. It seems when I eat things like chocolate, the dizziness goes away for a while, and I feel a little better.

Everyone keeps putting it down to stress, but I know that these are all symptoms of diabetes. I don’t know what it is and I’m wondering what you think I should do. Is there is any chance this could be diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

would suggest you go to the doctor and get a blood sugar test to see if you have diabetes. Please do not delay.


[Editor’s comment: These symptoms also might be indicative of hypoglycemia. It would be helpful if you could have a blood sugar checked when you feel them.


[Editor’s comment: Testing for diabetes should include blood sugar levels performed by a medical laboratory. The timing of the sample (fasting, random, or postprandial) would influence how high a level is considered abnormal. See Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes for further information.

Occasionally, lab blood sugar testing might be normal in an early case of diabetes, repeat blood sugar testing at the same or a different time, or performing a glucose tolerance test, might be appropriate if there is a high suspicion of diabetes despite normal initial testing. Another test, the glycosylated hemoglobin, might be used to help confirm a suspected diagnosis of diabetes, but the GHB (also called HbA1c or A1c) is not usually considered as appropriate to make an initial diagnosis.

Urine sugar tests or home glucose testing, if done, might be positive, which would make the situation more urgent to get lab testing done to confirm the abnormal results. However, urine or home glucose testing, if negative, would not exclude diabetes.