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From Constable, New York, USA:

I am 15, and I have a doctor's appointment after school tomorrow because my problems have been, more or less, getting on my nerves, and I have some concerns and questions. As you know, the holidays just passed, and the days I was on vacation, I was sleeping more than 15 hours a day. When I woke up (which took a fair amount of time itself), I would feel weak and ready to go to sleep for the night until I finally did, which was far before a normal bedtime (6:00-7:00 pm).

This problem has been going on for quite some time now, even before vacation. I would sleep from about 10:00 pm until 6:45 am the next day. After I was let out of school, I'd come home and sleep again from about 4:00 pm to about 8:00 pm. I just felt that it was a little strange for a teenager to sleep so much and not have the energy to do teenager things. So my sister suggested I look up symptoms of diabetes on the Internet since it runs in my family in. I did, and I have (I think) seven out of nine of them, and so we made the doctor's appointment.

Do you think I have a great risk of actually having diabetes? How is the test for diabetes carried out? Do I have to go to the hospital and wait days for results or is it performed right in the doctor's office? I'd like a response as soon as possible so I don't have to find out the hard way, if it's not too much trouble.


You've made the best decision in visiting your physician. Testing for diabetes typically involves both blood and urine tests. Your physician should be the best resource for answering all of your questions.


[Editor's comment: Testing for diabetes should include blood sugar levels performed by a medical laboratory. The timing of the sample (fasting, random, or postprandial) would influence how high a level is considered abnormal. See Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes Guidelines. for further information.

Occasionally, lab blood sugar testing might be normal in an early case of diabetes, repeat blood sugar testing at the same or a different time, or performing a glucose tolerance test, might be appropriate if there is a high suspicion of diabetes despite normal initial testing. Another test, the glycosylated hemoglobin, might be used to help confirm a suspected diagnosis of diabetes, but the GHB (also called HbA1c or A1c) is not usually considered as appropriate to make an initial diagnosis. Antibody testing is occasionally done as a screening test in high-risk situations, or as confirmatory of type type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, but is not part of routine testing.

Urine sugar tests or home glucose testing, if done, might be positive, which would make the situation more urgent to get lab testing done to confirm the abnormal results. However, urine or home glucose testing, if negative, would not exclude diabetes. SS]

Original posting 22 Jan 2003
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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