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Question:

From Manchester, England:

I'm 19 years old, and I have been experiencing dizziness, bad headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth, and feeling tired. I have trouble keeping my eyes open, feel like I am going to faint, overheating, and I have been going to the toilet more often. I have noticed that if I take a Dextrotab or eat chocolate I feel better.

I also have CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] and PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder], so consequently I must be stressed. I have heard that stress can cause the same symptoms as diabetes.

I am really worried that I have diabetes and really want to make sure that I'm okay, but I am afraid of wasting the doctor's time. Do you think that it is possible for me to have diabetes? What should I do? If I do see the doctor what sort of tests will she do?

Answer:

I really don't think you might have diabetes, but a fasting blood sugar and an urinalysis might address your doubts. Both test are very fast, cheap and easy to perform. Talk to your doctor about it.

MS

[Editor's comment: 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. See Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes Guidelines for further information.

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 type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, but is not part of routine testing.

Urine sugar tests or home 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, urine or home glucose testing, if negative, would not exclude diabetes. SS]

DTQ-20020811224322
Original posting 26 Aug 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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