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April 10, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA:

Today, after eating a bag of candy on a semi-empty stomach, my nine year old son suddenly became pale, cold, and his hands were trembling. He said his stomach "hurt", and he was "having trouble breathing". Lately, he seems to be hungry frequently, and after eating, his stomach "hurts". I do not know about his urine output, but he does not seem to drink or urinate to excess. However, he does not live with me full time, so my ability to notice is somewhat limited. I have noticed he has bad breath frequently, and he complains of being tired at inappropriate times. I am concerned that we should have my son tested for diabetes. There is no diabetes in my family, and his father was adopted so no family history is known.

Answer:

Your son’s symptoms are not compatible with diabetes. He may just have ‘wind’ which would cause pain and pallor (him going pale) or he may have had a reaction to eating a lot of sugar at once with a release of insulin causing his blood sugar to dip temporarily. Obviously, he could have something wrong with his gut, but this sounds unlikely. If these episodes persist or increase then you should take him to his pediatrician.

KJR