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March 29, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Marietta, Ohio, USA:

My seven year old son had a urine and blood tests done about 19 months ago, but I was never notified of the results. Today, when I took him to see his asthma doctor, he informed me that my son's urine glucose was over 1000 and that his blood glucose was 176 mg/dl [9.8 mmol/L]. I have noticed over time that my son does seem thirsty a lot, has headaches, and gets worn out by 2:30 pm everyday. I'm planning to have his blood work redone. I can't seem to get the doctor to answer any questions. Do you think my son could have diabetes? Wouldn't diabetes have shown more signs by now?

Answer:

A blood sugar of 176 mg/dl [9.8 mmol/L], together with significant amounts of sugar in the urine is most certainly suggestive of diabetes, especially so if your son had been taking an asthma medication containing steroids. These findings justify a fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c test, and full antibody testing as a matter of some urgency.

Since you say you were not informed of the earlier tests, I think it might be wise to, if possible, change your son’s care to a pediatrician or if the diagnosis is confirmed to a pediatric endocrinologist.

DOB