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Question:

From Pennsylvania, USA:

My 18-year-old son was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after not having any other health issues or signs of this. He participated in high school football without issues. About five weeks after the season ended, he communicated to us that he was thirsty all the time and urinating throughout the night, so we sent him to our family doctor. While at the doctor's, his blood sugar was critically high and he was taken to the hospital where a blood test showed his level was 580 mg/dl [32 mmol/L]. They discharged him on insulin injections of NovoLog and another long acting insulin that he takes overnight. The doctors say that his ITH3 (not sure if this is right) for his three month average was 12 and the normal range is 6. How can we be sure that our son doesn't have a virus or something else going on? No other test other than blood drawn was done while hospitalized for three days. Should we have any other test done to make sure this is his condition?

Answer:

It's tough to have diabetes and people often wonder if we are certain of the diagnosis. A glucose of 580 mg/dl [32 mmol/L] combined with an A1c of over 12 makes one certain of the diagnosis. This means his blood sugar has been over 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] for the past three months, at least. A blood sugar over 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] with symptoms is defined as diabetes by the WHO. Clearly, your son qualifies and there is no other diagnosis.

It is time to learn and help him take care of himself. You need to make it possible for him to be ready for school next year and to continue sports, if he wishes.

LD

[Editor's comment:

If you or your son are concerned about his ability to continue to play football, you need not worry. Examples of NFL players with type 1 include former player Jay Leeuwenberg and current Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler. There are other present and former professional athletes with type 1 as well, including pitcher Jason Johnson and basketball players Adam Morrison and Chris Dudley.

BH]

DTQ-20090105151739
Original posting 11 Jan 2009
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:18
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