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From New York, USA:

My endocrinologist recently told me that I might have transient diabetes. He told me a little about it, but I would like to learn more about it. Can you be of some assistance?


Without knowing a little more about your history and on what basis your endocrinologist said you might have "transient diabetes," it is hard to give you a precise answer. I will assume that you went to your endocrinologist for a specific reason and that he found sugar in a urine specimen and perhaps an elevated fasting blood sugar; but that a repeat test was negative.

Having said that, the first step is to repeat those simple tests again to make sure this was not an error and because dipstick blood sugars can go up if you are under stress and urine tests for sugar are not all that precise. I personally don't think that there is a specific entity called "transient diabetes," not after infancy that is. What does happen though is that a latent diabetes trait may become apparent under some form of stress and then resolve only to return months or years later. Gestational diabetes is an example of this and in both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes there may be a period of glucosuria and hyperglycemia associated perhaps with an infection before a permanent clinical diagnosis is justified. There are of course other reasons for glucose in the urine which are rare and not associated with high blood sugars.

If this uncertainty troubles you, you could call 1-800-425-8361 and see if they can give you the address of the nearest DPT-1 laboratory that could do an antibody test. Your doctor would have to send the blood sample and if you do not have a first degree relative with Type 1 Diabetes they might not agree to do the test; but they could give you the address of a commercial laboratory. At the moment there is no simple test that can eliminate latent Type 2 Diabetes; but I think it would be a good idea to have some urine testing strips to use if you get sick.

I hope that this explanation fits in with what your doctor has already told you.


Original posting 8 Jun 97


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