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May 10, 2008

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Lake Arthur, Louisiana, USA:

My daughter was sick Wednesday. We took her to the doctor and they said her blood sugar was over 300 mg/dl [16.7 mmol/L] and she had ketones in her urine. They admitted her into the hospital, but her sugar level and ketones went back to normal in a few hours without any insulin or medications. They have no clue what caused it, but said that they do not think it is type 1 diabetes because it shouldn't have gone back to normal without insulin, even if it went into honeymoon because it wouldn't have happened that fast. She has been back to normal ever since and with no symptoms. Her 90 day average sugar test was normal, too. Do you have any ideas about what this might be?

Answer:

This is a very unusual story. It could be the very beginnings of diabetes or could just be an odd stress response. I would suggest that you do some home monitoring of blood glucose levels – before breakfast, lunch and dinner plus one to two hours after each of these meals. This will give you some idea over a week or so time period what the blood glucose levels are doing. Then, a consultation with a pediatric diabetes specialist would be important and might also include some pancreatic antibody testing.

SB