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Question:

From Memphis, Tennessee, USA:

Our 10-year-old daughter requires snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon because of what the pediatrician termed "hypoglycemic headaches." He said he doesn't think she really has hypoglycemia, just that she gets hungry. We don't treat it as a disease, although we do have to limit her sugar and make sure she gets her snacks. She has actually fallen asleep at school at 11:00 when she skipped her snack. Other symptoms are nausea and emotional fragility.

My father, his sister, and other members of his family are diabetic. My husband's maternal grandfather and paternal aunt died of diabetes. Should we be more concerned about our daughter's blood sugar? Is keeping her symptom-free by watching her diet, and occasionally checking her urine for sugar, sufficient to safeguard her health? I will add that she is very thin (not a problem according to her pediatrician) so obesity is not a factor.

Answer:

Even in view of your positive family history for diabetes, hypoglycemia is a very unusual way for diabetes to present in a 10-year-old daughter. To be safe, you might consider talking to your doctor about getting an endogenous antibody test done, taking into account that this test, which used to be considered definitive, is now known to be negative in some diabetic children of Hispanic descent.

For the time being, I would agree with the suggestion that you assume that your daughter is not diabetic and I would only modify her diet by limiting simple sugars.

MS

Original posting 22 Jan 98

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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