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June 7, 2002

Behavior

Question from Walnut Shade, Missouri, USA:

During the past few months, have noticed that my 13 1/2 year old son (who is not overweight) is craving sweets and has gotten up in the middle of the night to get sodas to drink. He sneaks into the sugar containers and takes spoonfuls of sugar. He has taken ready-made frostings out of the cupboards and hid them in his room to eat. This does not seem like normal behavior. Since there is diabetes on both sides of my family and I had gestational diabetes, I have asked our doctor to do a glucose tolerance test, but he refuses and just wants to check his blood sugar. He is also showing some major behavioral problems, and I am thinking these behaviors may be a result of health. The bottom line is does his behavior show signs of a problem and need to be checked? To me it does, but I guess I am wanting an answer from somebody else.

Answer:

I appreciate your concerns. Craving sweets is not a typical sign of diabetes. The typical symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst and hunger, and weight loss (or occasionally, weight gain). See symptoms of diabetes.

MSB

[Editor’s comment: If your son is exhibiting a lot of behavior problems, I suggest you set up a meeting with the school counselor or another mental health professional to get to the bottom of things before they get worse.

SS]