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From Howell, New Jersey, USA:

My four year old daughter has been having alarming symptoms over the last six weeks, beginning with two weeks of low temperatures (ranging between 95.2 and 97 degrees F.) which have since resolved, frequent heavy sweats, occasional wetting her pants, fatigue, and rapid and extreme mood swings. She has lost seven pounds in less than four months also. Over this period, we began suspecting hypoglycemia. This week, we began testing her sugar with an at-home blood sugar monitor, and we were all very surprised to see that her sugar is HIGH when she is fatigued and sweating, ranging between 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L] and 357 mg/dl [19.8 mmol/L]. The pediatrician did take a fasting glucose level, which was in normal levels and suggested a pediatric endocrinologist, but the appointment I was able to get is still five weeks away. I brought her to the Emergency Room (ER) with the sugar level of 357 mg/dl [19.8 mmol/L], which did slowly go back down, to 96 mg/dl [5.3 mmol/L] as we left the ER. She had not eaten in seven hours by that time and was not put on an I.V.

The doctors seem to think that since she is getting sweaty, she has something other than diabetes, since sweat is normally seen with low levels of sugar, but I feel that this is some sort of red herring and that they are relying on this symptom being common as a way of thinking that she is NOT diabetic. I feel that this is a dangerous form of tunnel vision. I do not want my child to have diabetes, but if she does, I want to know as soon as possible so she can be treated correctly. Should I wait for this appointment or take her to another doctor, or wait for the appointment with the pediatric endocrinologist. Have you ever seen patients with sweat during high sugar levels?

She has been tested by the pediatrician. They have tested thyroid levels, done a CBC, fasting glucose (not a glucose tolerance test), urinalysis, lipids, and she had a chest X-ray. All of those results were normal. The ER staff took six vials of blood when we were there. The immediate results were normal, but the A1c wasn't back yet when we left, and I am not yet sure what the other tests were.

Any advice would be appreciated. There is some history of diabetes in my extended family, not immediate family, as well as a lot of auto-immune disorders. I have MS, have an Aunt with MS, one with Crohn's disease, and one with Crohn's disease and Lupus, if that means anything with regard to my daughter's possibility of having diabetes.


I think that the blood sugar levels of your child could mean diabetes. The ADA (American Diabetes Association) statement says that a single blood sugar reading above 200 mg/dl, tested by a laboratory, could be considered as diabetes. I agree with you about the need to undergo a more specific testing in order to clarify the situation (oral glucose tolerance test, looking for the antibodies specific for diabetes and so on).

I hope that now you have just done all of this. And a last thing; yes, sweating could be a symptom of high glucose level as well as hypoglycemia. Each child could react in a really personal manner to both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.


[Editor's comment: Please see the comments from Dr. Schwartz at this Ask the Diabetes Team question with respect to what antibody testing you might want done. BH]

Original posting 21 Oct 2004
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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