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Question:

From Quebec, Canada:

My daughter had severe pain in the lower right hand side and had to have a shot of Demerol [a powerful painkiller medication]. She was tested and I was told there was blood in her urine. They did a 24 urine test and they said there was protein in the urine and that her blood sugar level was 3.5 [63 mg/dl]. Next month they want to do an ultrasound on her. She's 13 and weighs 90 pounds. My father has diabetes; is it possible for her to have it? The doctor is not letting me know what's going on as he said she needs to see a specialist. I thought diabetes was only high level of blood sugar, but the nurse said that's what it sounds like to her. I'm confused and find it hard to wait another month for results. Any clarifications would help me.

Answer:

The story you tell about your daughter reminded me of the time I worked in a Children's Hospital in London. It was a rule then that all families had to see a Medical Social Worker after they had seen the doctor to make sure that they completely understood what had been said. When you are anxious about a child who is sick, it is very easy not to grasp what the answer is thought to be and the reasons for future plans.

I would guess that your daughter's doctor is thinking that the pain might have been due to a stone in the ureter on the right side. This would account for the pain as well as the protein and blood in the urine. The point of the ultrasound study is to see if they can detect a stone which may not be visible with a conventional X ray. Renal stones are rather unusual at the age of 13; but they may occur in disorders such as oxalosis or with some disorders of the large bowel; certainly they justify getting a specialist's opinion.

The blood sugar was normal, if anything on the low side, and I am sure that if the clinic found blood and protein in the urine they would also have looked for sugar, so I think that the possibility of diabetes is extremely unlikely. If you asked to speak to the doctor on the telephone for a few minutes I am expect that he could quickly tell you what he was thinking and set your mind at rest on diabetes.

DO'B

Original posting 26 Apr 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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