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September 30, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Cleveland, Ohio, USA:

I took my daughter to her pediatrician yesterday for what I thought would be a urinary tract infection (UTI), but when they tested her urine they found sugar. We were immediately referred to an endocrinologist who had us go directly to Rainbow Babies Emergency Room. She was then given a blood test which came up 101 mg/dl [5.6 mmol/L], which was not high enough for them to admit her right away. What would cause her to have sugar in her urine and a relatively normal blood sugar level? Is there any other answer besides diabetes? It turns out she did have a UTI. Could that be a source? She also had a high sugar breakfast about two hours before that test was performed. Could that have anything to do with the results? They did a blood test to determine what her past history levels have been but we're still waiting on the results.

Answer:

Sugar in the urine is always abnormal. Sugar in the urine should be followed closely and the child should have some serial laboratory testing done on blood also to make sure this doesn’t represent diabetes. UTIs do not typically cause sugar in the urine and a high sugar breakfast also should not cause sugar in the urine. There are other rare causes of sugar in the urine. Your pediatrician should be able to direct you to appropriate testing and follow-up care.

MSB