From Virginia, USA:
I'm a 16 year old female recently diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia. My fasting glucose during a 3 hour GTT was 71 mg/dl, normal insulin, hours one and two were both 96 also with normal insulin and hour 3 was 37 with a bit elevated insulin. I have a strong family history of diabetes. Does having hypoglycemia now mean I'm going to get diabetes?
Without knowing a little bit more about the Type of Diabetes that your family have, its difficult to give a precise figure for your chances. However the results of your glucose tolerance test may indeed be significant. What happens, and it is primarily in Type 1 or autoimmune diabetes, is that as the insulin producing capacity of the islet cells decreases, what is called the first phase insulin release is not only insufficient, it is delayed. This in turn means that insulin in response to a glucose load is now secreted after blood sugar levels have begun to fall which results in hypoglycemia.
It may be important for you to have this possibility evaluated by getting an antibody test done for Type 1 Diabetes. The number to call about this is 1-800-425-8361; actually it is better for your doctor to do this as there are special instructions on obtaining and sending the blood sample. If the test is positive you would have a chance to join in a national trial which uses either injected or oral insulin to see if long term insulin dependance can be delayed and if late complications can be averted. If the test is negative you may still be a potential Type 2 diabetic; but the business of defining this precisely is still an incomplete and complex affair.
You would still be wise to confirm to certain general health measures in terms of keeping to a normal weight for your height, of restricting carbohydrate and especially free sugar in your diet and of making sure that you take regular vigorous exercise. It would in fact be good idea to spend time with the appropriate members of the diabetic team that looks after other members of your family.
Original posting 7 Mar 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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