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From El Dorado, Kansas, USA:

My eight year old son has just been diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance. Can you explain this and do you know of any good places to get more information? Is there any information about how long before he develops type 1 diabetes? His specialist said he will most likely develop type 1 diabetes, but doesn't know when.


I am not clear why your son's doctor took a blood sugar level and whether the sample taken was fasting or random. Both the American Diabetes Association and The World Health Organisation have published levels for both kinds of samples that are used to define both 'glucose intolerance' and 'diabetes'. These criteria apply to adults, and the trouble with any single sample in a child is that the stress of a doctor's office and the apparatus of blood sampling can very quickly raise blood sugar levels out of the normal range. However, rather than repeat the test, I think that you should talk to the doctor about getting an antibody test which would tell you whether your son is going to develop type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes which is by far the most common form in Caucasian families in the U.S. If the doctor is reluctant to do this, you could call 1-800-425-8361 for the address of the nearest center who would do this test without charge, and if it is positive, offer your son the opportunity to participate in the oral insulin part of the national DPT-1 study. Again, if the test is positive it should be possible to predict a little more accurately when your son might develop clinical insulin dependent diabetes.


Original posting 3 Jun 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:22
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