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Question:

From Louisville, Kentucky, USA:

Since she was a child, my 22-year-old daughter has always had to eat frequently or her blood sugar would drop, eventually to the point of passing out. But, as long as she ate, she was okay. About one and a half years ago, she started feeling bad after normal meals and would have levels of 150 to 200 mg/dl [8.3 to 11.1 mmol/L]. She can go hours without eating now and have no low levels. It has continued to get worse and she has to eat small meals of meat and vegetables. She can get a reading of 160 mg/dl [8.9 mmol/L] by eating an egg roll and a cup of noodles. Her waking levels are around 100 to 110 mg/dl [5.6 to 6.1 mmol/L]. All tests are in the "normal" range but I don't think the tests are really accurate because she has eaten so low carbohydrate and low sugar for so long. She is not overweight at all. My family has a tremendous amount of diabetes, type 1 and 2 and thyroid disease. She has been tested for celiac, thyroid, cortisol, etc. but nothing shows up as abnormal. That she has to eat such a restricted diet tells me something is not right. What do you think could be going on?

Answer:

It sounds like your daughter was instructed to eat a low carbohydrate diet to avoid the symptoms she experienced. To some degree, it sounds like it has worked. However, you are concerned with the rise in blood sugars she experiences after relatively small amounts of carbohydrates. It is known in the diabetes world that you can get false positive tests for diabetes if you withhold carbohydrates and then ingest a large carbohydrate load in an unusual meal. This may be what is happening with the exaggerated rise in glucose after a small meal of carbohydrates. She is eating largely vegetables and meat and then has the rare carbohydrate meal and experienced a rise that is faster than usual. The good news is that it sounds like she has not developed diabetes. In the big picture, I would not characterize this as disease.

JTL

[Editor's comment:

Please see our page on the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes.

BH]

DTQ-20100825111858
Original posting 8 Sep 2010
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Wednesday September 08, 2010 17:44:54
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