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From Alberta, Canada:

For the last 2 years my son has been treated for ADHD. Recently we have discovered that he has hypoglycemia. I know this is the opposite of diabetes, but I have been told that he could develop diabetes. Is this true? Also, since it is the opposite of diabetes, why are we on a diabetic menu? My son is 4 years old, underweight, allergic to milk and wheat. I am not questioning the knowledge of our doctor, but do find this confusing.


Without a little more information it is hard to answer both your questions precisely. First of all, hypoglycemia is sometimes seen as the earliest evidence of clinical diabetes; but whilst this is fairly common in young adults it is really very rare in a four year old. The chance of his getting diabetes then, unless there is a family history of Type 1 is no more than for the general population. If you are particularly anxious about the possibility you could ask your doctor about getting an antibody test done (or you could call 1-800-425-8361 for more information). It would also help you to discuss with your son's doctor what the actual evidence for hypoglycemia is. The symptoms of this sometimes complex condition may be similar to those of ADHD. The term hypoglycemia is sometimes used to avoid a firm diagnosis of ADHD because the management of the latter is much more difficult.

There is no reason why your son should be on a 'diabetic' diet; for one thing, such a regimen will do nothing to prevent the onset of clinical diabetes if that is indeed a possibility. You would probably feel more confident about handling his real nutritional needs if you could discuss his diet with an experienced pediatric dietitian. The best way to get in touch with one would be to make contact initially with one of the dietitians in your local hospital, asking them to suggest a colleague in the nearest University Pediatric Department if that is not too far to travel.


[Editor's comment: We have answered other questions about ADHD and diabetes previously. WWQ]

Original posting 2 Aug 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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