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Question:

From West Palm Beach, Florida, USA:

I am a 44 year old who has never been diagnosed with diabetes, but after reading about hyperglycemia and its symptoms, I suspect that this it has been a problem for me for a couple of years now. I thought the symptoms (intense abdominal pain, dizziness, extreme fatigue, tingling in my hands, sometimes pain in my arms or hands or feet, frequent urination, unusual thirst and hunger and dry mouth) were related to medications I was taking. Would these symptoms make you suspicious of diabetes?

Two days ago I had a blood sugar of 181 mg/dl [10.6 mmol/L], and my doctor said come back in two weeks for a fasting level on a meter. Is this normal? Should I find another doctor who takes this a little more seriously?

Answer:

I would be concerned that you have diabetes and if it were me, I would want to have a fasting glucose performed by a laboratory, and I am not sure you have to wait two weeks. In addition, the American Diabetes Association criteria for the diagnosis require a fasting glucose of greater than 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L]on two occasions, performed as a blood draw and measured in a lab.

If I were you, I would speak loudly and be an advocate for your health care.

JTL

[Editor's comment: Meter glucose testing, if done, might be positive, which would make the situation more urgent to get lab testing done to confirm the abnormal results. However, meter glucose testing, if negative, would not exclude diabetes. Testing for diabetes should include blood sugar levels performed by a medical laboratory. The timing of the sample (fasting, random, or postprandial) would influence how high a level is considered abnormal.

Occasionally, lab blood sugar testing might be normal in an early case of diabetes, repeat blood sugar testing at the same or a different time, or performing a glucose tolerance test, might be appropriate if there is a high suspicion of diabetes despite normal initial testing. Another test, the glycosylated hemoglobin, might be used to help confirm a suspected diagnosis of diabetes, but the GHB (also called HbA1c or A1c) is not usually considered as appropriate to make an initial diagnosis. Antibody testing is occasionally done as a screening test in high-risk situations, or as confirmatory of type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, but is not part of routine testing. WWQ]

DTQ-20011115074258
Original posting 18 Nov 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:28
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