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From Texas, USA:

Our 9 year old daughter had a 5 hr glucose tolerance done two days ago to see if she is hypoglycemic. The doctor wanted the test done because she fainted before eating a late breakfast of pancakes and syrup and her blood sugar was 54 approximately two hours after her breakfast. Our daughter also has headaches regularly.

I was told to not let her eat anything after midnight the night before. We ate a late dinner around 19:40 and I gave her a dinner roll at 21:00 and very little water. We started the tests at 11:25 the next day.

The readings from the test were: fasting - 82, 1/2 hour - 165, 1 hour - 168, 2 hour - 133, 3 hour - 115, 4hr - 61. The 5 hour value did not get done, because she began getting clammy, sweating, and lightheaded. They took the 4 hour, then gave her some cookies and she was okay. Her urines were all negative for the test.

The doctor said she seems to be hypoglycemic and we should treat it with 3 regular meals and 3 snacks at 10:00, 15:00 and 20:00.

I am concerned because we still do not know that she really has hypoglycemia. What can I tell from the readings from the glucose test? What steps should we take to make sure she is hypoglycemic, and what tests should we ask be taken?


The result of the glucose tolerance test and the account of your daughter's symptoms, including the headaches, suggests that she may have an impairment of what is called "first phase insulin release." Put another way, there may be a delay in the insulin response to a rise in blood sugar. The easiest way to confirm this would be to repeat the test getting blood insulin levels at the same time as the sugars. This can be a very early indication of Type 1 Diabetes.

For the present, treatment should be symptomatic, with snacks between meals and especially a high protein snack at bedtime. If it is not too great a financial burden, it would be a convenience to have a meter to measure blood sugars. If these rather simple measures do not help or do not relieve anxiety, you should talk to your doctor about getting antibody levels and/or telephone 1-800-425-8361 to get further details of the Diabetes Prevention Trial.


Original posting 17 Jun 97


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