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December 2, 2004

Hyperglycemia and DKA, Other

Question from Michigan, USA:

I have a 15 year old daughter who has been drinking and doing drugs. We been having a lot of problems with her at this time. She ended up in the hospital where she said she had smoked a joint. It didn't show up on a drug test, but she was in DKA at the time. Did it not show up because her sugar was so high?

Answer:

DKA and high sugars do not interfere with such drug tests. However, the volume of urine, if excessive because of high sugars, could also dilute out other chemicals present i.e. marijuana, at least theoretically. As the blood sugars are brought under control and the urine volumes decreases, then the drug test could be redone several hours later since the body would still be metabolizing the tetrahydrocannabinols. However, if she said that she was using marijuana and other drugs, to what benefit is having an actual level? She’s already acknowledged what she was doing and now your and their task would be to figure out how to help her. The diabetes folks would be a good resource to discuss this in some detail as well.

SB