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Question:

From Illinois, USA:

My 3 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 several months ago. His father is type 1, diagnosed at age 7. His aunt was diagnosed at age 19, and is now 36 with recent a pancreas/kidney transplant. His grandmother is insulin dependent. His grandfather type 2 on oral medication.

Because of my husband's family history, I want to closely monitor my 13 month old daughter. I would like to check her blood sugar levels once a month. What is the best time of day to test her? Her brother is in the honeymoon period so that his morning levels are usually at normal levels, 120's. Is it better to test her first thing in the morning, or at some point after a meal? Also, would the DPT-1 trial test a child under 3 for the ICA antibodies?

Answer:

Routine blood sugar testing is not usually recommended in family members of type 1 diabetics. The symptoms of diabetes can come on very quickly, so a blood sugar could be normal and your daughter could have diabetes a few weeks later. Looking for the symptoms of excess urination and thirst are usually enough.

If you want to periodically test your daughter's blood sugar, probably 1 hour after eating would be the best. In the early stages of diabetes, the fasting blood sugar may be normal, but the blood sugar may go up transiently after eating. Probably the most important time to be on the look out is if your daughter gets sick with a virus, especially a stomach virus. If the pancreas is failing, blood sugars may be normal when the child is well, but may go high when the child is sick. Also, unrecognized diabetes in a young child may cause vomiting and mimic a stomach virus. Early detection at this stage would be helpful to prevent ketoacidosis.

Officially the DPT-1 study offers free screening starting at the age of 3 as this is the youngest age they will accept a child into their protocol. If you feel you want your child tested earlier, even though there is nothing you could do at this age, you can pay to have the test done at a DPT testing center.

TGL

Additional Comments from Lois Finney, diabetes dietitian:

The DPT test can be done under age 3 with fully informed consent of the parents. If the child comes out positive, they cannot undergo any further testing until the age of 3. There is no charge for the test done under the DPT.

LSF

Original posting 6 Dec 1998
Additional comment added 8 Dec 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

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