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Question:

From Broxtowe, Nottingham, England:

My son has been to the hospital for a blood test because he had glucose in his urine. He has lost a lot of weight, about a stone and a half (21 pounds), which is worrying for a 14 year old who was born big and was fairly big as a teenager. He also skips a lot of meals, but has binges. I've been told that I will have to wait seven to ten days for the results. What are the chances of the results?

Answer:

I am answering this from "across the pond." I understand that "a stone" is about 14 pounds, so it sounds like your son has lost a lot of weight.

Please see our link to the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes and Diabetes Basics.

A urine glucose result should be available literally in seconds. A screening fingerstick blood glucose test, which is probably a more specific way to assess for diabetes, can give a result generally in under a minute (and with some devices less than 5 seconds). I know that these blood and screening tools are available in the UK.

An actual serum glucose measurement from a vein should be available within a matter of hours. Even if someone opted to perform a formal glucose tolerance test, then the results should be available in hours. A hemoglobin A1c test, which is not a good screen for diabetes, but certainly reflects past blood glucose levels should be back within a few hours. And there are pretty accurate devices that give that result in under 10 minutes! I do not understand why, even in the United Kingdom, with a different healthcare system, it would take one to two weeks to get back a blood glucose level!

I think you should talk to your health care team again about your concerns about your son's weight loss. There are many non-serious, and certainly some serious, issues that can lead to weight loss and could be related to metabolic/hormonal imbalances, intestinal conditions, and even malignancies. Again, if there are symptoms to suggest diabetes, such as the classic increased urination and increased thirst, a diagnosis can usually be made quickly and accurately with easy blood tests.

DS

DTQ-20040915124524
Original posting 15 Sep 2004
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:58
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