From Kansas, USA:
I am 32 years old and have had Type 1 diabetes for 18 years. My wife and I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. In the last few weeks we have noticed that whenever she concentrates on fine motor skills, she is experiencing shakiness in her hands. My wife had called her pediatrician and had asked if she should bring her in. They said to just keep observing her and let them know if it becomes more noticeable or more evident. We have been watching her to see if it has been more prevalent. Tonight I did a blood test on her with my glucometer before dinner and the reading was 55. Our daughter is a small girl about 26 pounds. She had not eaten at least 3 hours prior to the blood glucose test. My question is, should I have a Hemoglobin A1C test taken or is a 55 reading nothing to be concerned about? I guess if I should be doing something I want to at least check it out so if something does need to be done I don't want to be told later, if I would have only brought her in earlier.
I also have heard about a lab in Florida where they take possible people in and basically treat them with extensive IV fluids and insulin that can ultimately rule out a good chance for a person to develop diabetes.
I know it is very early to be jumping to conclusions, but I don't want to be caught by surprise. If nothing else, should I bring her in for further tests?
A fasting blood sugar of 55 mg/dl is right at the lower limit of the normal range and it could well be that your pediatrician is right and that the shakiness on fine movement is not related in any way. At the same time you and your wife are obviously worried that this might be a first sign of diabetes even though it is very uncommon for Type 1 Diabetes to present with hypoglycemia at this age. There is something like a 7% chance that your little daughter may have inherited diabetes, so that it would certainly be worth having an 'antibody' test done and this can be arranged without cost if your doctor will call the DPT-1 program at 1-800-425-8361 or 1-800-572-3992. I think it would be wise also to do some more fasting blood sugars and to see if half a glass of orange juice or apple juice has any effect on the shakiness. There are of course other causes for hypoglycemia if this should indeed prove to be the problem and these might need to be investigated. In the meantime, and just as a precaution, I would try to make sure that your daughter doesn't miss any meals and that she gets a snack mid-morning, mid-afternoon and before bed.
Original posting 18 May 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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