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From Newfoundland, Canada:

I am the single mother of a five-year-old old who has a sugar intolerance. He does not become hyperactive, but will become aggressive and lash out violently when given high sugar foods, such as jam, candy, pancake syrup, birthday cake, doughnuts, etc., and will immediately follow with a crash, falling asleep for hours. Because he dislikes ice cream, pudding, Jello, pop, and a lot of sweet tasting foods, it has not been a problem removing most high sugar foods from his diet.

Since my grandfather and his siblings were all diabetics, the general practitioner tested my son's urine and said he does not have diabetes. If not diabetic, what accounts for the behaviour and mood swings when on high sugar foods? A public health nurse told me that various sugar substitutes, aspartame, sorbitol, Splenda, have been shown to cause kidney damage in children and should not be used before growth is complete, not before 18 years. The body adjusts by creating sorbitol pathways and have been linked to various problems in adulthood. Am I harming my child by taking away sweets and replacing the sugar with Splenda (in cake, for example) when he's not a diagnosed diabetic?


I don't actually believe that your child's symptoms are sugar related at all, but also do not believe that the public health nurse gave you correct information either. The sugar substitutes have lots of "urban myths" about their use, but are actually quite safe and well studied. In any individual person, of course, there could be intolerances. So, if you think that your child functions better by avoiding simple sugars foods/drinks/snacks, then this is not such a bad notion to follow. The same could be said for lots of foods, i.e., wheat and gluten, which are known to cause non-specific symptoms even when classical food allergies or celiac disease cannot be confirmed.


Original posting 19 Apr 2007
Posted to Behavior and Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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