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From Brazil:

My daughter is 8 years old and has for the last two years been to thetimes, not always, these headaches are accompanied by nausea, clammy-cold skin, deep sunken eyes and weakness. Also she will not have a temperature reading above 35 centigrade. At school she does not eat properly and the day is long: 8:00am to 3:30pm. It has never occured to me that these symptoms might be signs of diabetes as she is perfect after she gets home and eats. I have discussed her case with our pediatrician and he wants her to do a glucose test. I don't want her having to do this test as she is a very nervous and anxious girl and I know this would be very traumatic for her. I guess the question is should I have her do the test or not?

The headaches are quite regular, about 3 times a week. I have always associated this with her not eating, but maybe I am wrong!


Many people will get symptoms of a low blood sugar if they go a long time without eating. Usually the blood sugar is not really low, but the symptoms are caused by hormones made by the body to release stored sugar into the blood to prevent a low blood sugar. The most reliable way to rule out a low blood sugar is to test the blood sugar when the child is having symptoms. If the blood sugar is normal, the symptoms can usually be prevented by trying to avoid long periods without eating, trying to avoid foods high in concentrated sweets and to increase the protein content of meals. If the blood sugar is low, further testing would be indicated.

It is rare that a glucose tolerance test is necessary to diagnose diabetes in an 8 year old. Usually the diagnosis can be made by testing the sugar for urine and confirming with a blood sugar if it is abnormal. If you are really concerned, one blood sugar taken one hour after a meal high in sugar is usually enough to rule out diabetes in a child.


Original posting 28 Oct 96


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