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December 30, 2007

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Elkton, Maryland, USA:

My son drinks and urinates all the time. I had him tested once mid-afternoon about 45 minutes after he had very watered down apple juice (about four ounces) and two or three small ranch rice cakes. They pricked his finger and his level was 149 mg/dl [8.3 mmol/L]. Later, about 30 to 40 minutes after dinner, our friends' son who has type 1 did a finger prick. The result was 118 mg/dl [6.6 mmol/L]. My doctor does not seem to think it's anything, but when I asked another doctor in the practice, they said 149 mg/dl [8.3 mmol/L] was borderline. My son will snack throughout the day, but still eat meals. We no longer give him any juice and he drinks water nonstop. Should I be concerned, get a new doctor or ask for certain tests? What is the normal blood level for a three-year-old? My husband's maternal relatives have type 2.

Answer:

I agree with your doctor and think your child’s symptoms are not related to diabetes at all. All blood sugar levels measured by meters are not accurate enough to be diagnostic, which, in this case, are still pretty normal. Just to double check, you may want to check for laboratory determination of glucose in the blood and in the urine.

MS

[Editor’s comment: Also, see our page on the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes.

BH]