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From Florida, USA:

My son is 9 1/2 years old. His father developed diabetes when he was about 10 or 11, and is in very bad health now at age 29. I know that his sugar went mostly uncontrolled while we were married. He lives with his parents now (the mother is also diabetic). Last weekend when my son was visiting his father, they encouraged him to do a blood test. He is not diabetic. He had been eating oranges and kiwi fruit with sugar sprinkled on them and did not wash his hands before doing the test. The result was 193. The next morning, they would not let him eat breakfast until he took another test. It came out to 102. They then let him eat.

I have always just been watching him for the usual symptoms of diabetes, of which I have seen no sign. Am I doing enough to watch out for him? I was upset about them doing a home test on him because when his father began showing signs of diabetes, his parents took him to the emergency room. They tested him, said his sugar was high and told them to bring him back to the doctor for tests. His mother took him home and gave him an injection of her own insulin. I am afraid of them trying to do this to my son. I have explained to him that no one except a doctor should ever authorize for him to have a shot, etc., etc. I just want to know if watching for the symptoms is enough or is there something else for me to do.


Home blood glucose meters are not accurate enough to tell the difference between a normal blood sugar and slightly elevated. Given this fact, the fasting and after eating values you report for your son look normal. If we consider that his father (father's history confers his offspring greater risk than mother's one) has diabetes (I assume type 1 diabetes, insulin-dependent) your son probably has a 6 to 8% risk of developing type 1 diabetes, i.e., not terribly likely.

Besides the obvious fact that is absolutely not acceptable that insulin could be eventually given to an apparently healthy child by a non-physician, I think that if you or any other relative are really concerned about this risk, just watching for clinical signs of diabetes is certainly nowadays not enough in the case of a child first degree relative of type 1 diabetic father. You'd better talk to your pediatrician about getting genetic testing done once and antibody testing periodically over the years until 20 years of age when his risk drops.


Original posting 8 Apr 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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