oa South African Medical Journal - Diabetes mellitus : pitfalls in its diagnosis

Volume 23, Issue 44
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Four cases have been reported, in two of which the diagnosis of diabetes had been missed, and in the other two a wrong diagnosis of diabetes had been made. To avoid such errors: The possibility of diabetes should be considered whenever there is a family history of it. In these cases (even if the urine has been found free of sugar) a fasting blood sugar and if necessary a glucose tolerance test should be done. A suspected hypoglycaemic condition should either be verified or excluded by prolonged glucose tolerance test. In cases of glycosuria a fasting blood sugar test should be taken. If the result is normal, at least a further blood sugar concentration 2 1/2 hours after a heavy carbohydrate meal must be determined. A diabetic glucose tolerance curve must be viewed with suspicion if it has been taken whilst the patient has been on a restricted diet, and should be repeated after the patient has been put on a diet for at least one week with sufficient carbohydrates.

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