My son is 4 years old and about 6 months ago I noticed he had an increasing appetite for sugar. This was also accompanied with an agressive personality and usually about 45 minutes after eating sugar some pretty severe temper tantrums. I immediately discussed his situation with a behavioral therapist in my area and she suggested a glucose tolerance test to determine if he was diabetic. My pediatrician was reluctant to perform the test because he said juvenile diabetes would include other symtoms such as weight loss and dizzyness and passing out. He did however have a fasting sugar blood test which came back normal.
I eliminated sugar from his diet and there has been a significant improvement in his behavior with regard to his ability to gain control over a shorter amount of time and the outbursts are less violent. The temper tantrums are far less frequent going from about 12 experiences a week down to about 2 episodes.
Does it sound as though this child could have diabetes which is currently being controlled through diet? He has relatives with diabetes on both sides (both grandparents on either side and uncles and aunts) with no history of juvenile diabetes.
It certainly does not sound as if your son has, or is on the brink of, diabetes. The symptoms that you describe are not uncommon in 4 year olds and many parents think there is a link between certain foods and behaviour. There are no convincing scientific studies that support this view but, being pragmatic about it, if exclusion of certain things makes his behaviour better - great. You should be certain, however that you are not restricting his intake of foods that he needs to grow and develop normally. If you are in any doubt about this, then ask your paediatrician.
Unless your son develops new symptoms, don't have any more blood tests done on him.
Original posting 19 Oct 96
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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