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Question:

From Blacksburg, Virginia, USA:

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 13 years old and took insulin injections for seven years. My blood sugar levels were never normal and I had many medical complications. At age 20, I pleaded with the doctor and my parents to put me in the hospital for tests because I knew something was not right; I knew that people with diabetes who took care of themselves lead healthy lives, but this was not the case for me. I was put in the hospital and underwent many tests, including a glucose tolerance test and insulin reduction exercises; when the tests came back it revealed that I did not have the disease at all. I had been misdiagnosed!

The doctor that diagnosed me in the beginning only checked my blood sugar via a urine test and a finger prick test and immediately started me on a huge amount of insulin. As I said, I was 13 years old and had just recovered from pneumonia, bronchitis, and mononucleosis all in less than four months. My body was in chaos because of the illnesses and puberty. I am totally color-blind, which I surmise is because the cones on my retina were damaged because of the excess insulin I was taking. I am also not at the stature of many of the males in my family, and again, I believe this is from the extra insulin during my pubescent years.

Since that time in my life, I have had great care and concern for diabetics and the research and treatment options for those affected with the disease. I am a Diabetes Advocate with the ADA and contribute to any cause that is to improve diabetes care, treatment, and research. I am a Ph.D. candidate and am focusing on diabetes for a particular research paper; I would like to know how many cases of misdiagnosis of diabetes have been reported and what has been done.

Answer:

It would be most unusual to have diabetes misdiagnosed in the manner in which you described. It would also be most unusual to take insulin for so many years and not actually require insulin. If you did not have diabetes, then you might have hypoglycemia from taking insulin that was not really needed, but this would not explain hyperglycemia at all. Hyperglycemia would reflect insulin deficiency. A good diabetologist would be able to answer your specific questions rather than give you non-specific answers to such important questions.

SB

DTQ-20041110142245
Original posting 24 Nov 2004
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms and Other

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
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