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October 6, 2006

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Irvine, California, USA:

Our seven year old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes four years ago. One of her four year old sisters has been experiencing episodes of thirst and wetting lately. This prompted me to check her blood sugar, which was 186 mg/dl [10.3 mmol/L]. Upon checking her daily, I found that her numbers were hovering in the 150 mg/dl [8.3 mmol/L] range, although this week they have come down into the normal range of around 90 mg/dl [5.0 mmol/L]. Her pediatrician tested her C-Peptide and GAD-65, which came back at 0.5 and 3.7, respectively. The pediatrician felt that she is "getting" diabetes and suggested we see the endocrinologist. She's still wetting and complaining of thirst, but her blood sugars seem fine. I've been checking randomly once a day. Is there any point in going to the endocrinologist now or should I just wait until she clearly needs insulin? Is it possible to get a longer honeymoon out of her if she starts insulin now?


You do not provide specific units or reference ranges for the C-Peptide and GAD-65 antibodies but,assuming they are “standard,” then go NOW to your pediatric endocrinologist. I think your daughter has diabetes now! And yes, there is good evidence that if you “catch things early enough,” you can prolong the honeymoon with aggressive insulin therapy.