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Question:

From Michigan, USA:

I have a four year old daughter who has had problems with her blood sugars for almost 2 years now. She was hospitalized last year for problems with her blood sugars going very low, at times and then as high as 250 range. Her endocrine doctor couldn't find any evidence to her having diabetes. She still puzzles them, weight is normal, having most of her problems in the fall and winter months.

Just the past few weeks, I noticed that she was waking me up at night drenched in urine. And urinating her self at school,and the usual thirst, and constant hunger. And she also gets very aggressive when her sugar levels are not in normal range.

How long can a child go on like this before they can actually become diabetic? I have numerous family members with juvenile diabetes. And they tell me that it's just a matter of time before she is a diabetic. Also if she gets the slights cold or viral infection, she starts the symptoms all over again: urinating at night, hunger, and thirst. I noticed on her face and arms the other day when bathing her that she had these red blisters on her. Just two or three on her arm and one on her face. I thought if could be chicken pox, but she did have the vaccine for this. I checked her blood sugar before bed because she had been displaying again all the symptoms and her reading was 42. I had a terrible time waking her, for me to give her some juice. I am very worried about my little girl. She has been seen by an endo doctor, and a disease specialist. But every door is always closed with no answers. All they ever say is that she a puzzle that hasn't been figured out yet. And to watch her closely.

Have you ever heard or known of any other children having these such problems? Everything I've ever read, says most children develop diabetes right away. I hope that you have some kind of answer for me, and not another closed door. I don't know what else I can do for her, but to wait around and wait for the inevitable. I apologize if I seem not very optimistic, but two years of this has left me very drained. And discouraged.

Answer:

If your daughter has had fasting blood sugars of 250 mg/dl on more than one occasion, even if it was done with a home monitor, it is likely that she has diabetes especially with the family history and the other symptoms. The low blood sugars are probably not a part of the erratic functioning of her insulin producing cells. You have to realise that the process of becoming a Type 1A or autoimmune diabetic (by far the commonest form at this age ) may take several months and that there may be an variable period before insulin is absolutely required when blood sugars can be very erratic. You did not say whether there had been glucose in her urine at any time; but at this stage I would ask her endocrinologist, if it has not already been done, to arrange for an antibody test (1-800-425-8361 is a number to call). If this is positive, then she has Type 1A diabetes and insulin should probably be started very shortly. There is also a small chance that she may still have diabetes; but a form that is not autoimmune and which has quite a good prospect of being ultimately managed without insulin. This is sometimes called Type 1B diabetes and is especially common in Hispanic and African American children in the US.

DO'B

Original posting 28 Nov 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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