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Question:

From Shreveport, Louisiana, USA:

I'm 26 years old, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes four weeks ago, and for about a year and a half, my 26 month old son has been having all the symptoms of diabetes. I started testing my son and found his fasting blood sugar to be about 150-200 mg/dl [8.3-11.1 mmol/L] and he has had several readings in the 200-400 mg/dl [11.1-22.2 mmol/L] range. What are the chances of my son and I being diagnosed within three weeks of each other since we started having problems at the same time? Absolutely no one in our family has diabetes on either side. Could something environmental have caused this?

Answer:

I imagine how concerned you are. The nature of the workings of blood glucose meters is such that it is not super sensitive. If you have diabetes and you're watching your readings, it makes little difference in practical matters if your glucose is 118 or 138 mg/dl [6.5 or 7.7 mmol/L] (or 240 vs 340 mg/dl [13.3 or 18.9 mmol/L] for that matter). The former are pretty good and the latter are too high, but if you are trying to establish the diagnosis, the most correct value is critical.

Toddlerhood may be the third most common time for diabetes to occur, but I doubt that there is something in your environment, since you indicate that you have type 2 diabetes, and a toddler would have type 1 diabetes. However, at the beginning of type 1 diabetes, while there is a relative deficiency of insulin, there usually is still some, so values can be erratic, even with some normal values.

I would suggest the following. Firstly, keep your appointment with the pediatric endocrinology office. They may also perform a hemoglobin A1c and perhaps a glucose challenge of some sort (probably a two-hour after breakfast and compare to fasting levels in a true blood samples in the lab rather than an oral glucose tolerance test). Also, be certain that the technique you are using at home is ideal: be certain his poking site (fingers, arm, etc.) are really, really clean and dry. Soap and water is fine to clean with, but be sure the finger has dried before you stick him. Check the glucose reading before breakfast and lunch and dinner. Write them down on a calender or in a logbook.

DS

DTQ-20020415014321C
Original posting 10 May 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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