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July 13, 2005

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Question from Downey, California, USA:

My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed in February 2004 with type 1 diabetes and is currently getting wonderful control with pump therapy. She is extremely hyperactive for her age. I have often just blamed it on immaturity and the like, however, she enters middle school this year and I worry about her social skills. She has a very difficult time maintaining friendships, is extremely messy/disorganized, but is extremely bright and functions well at school (straight A's). She is also a gifted athlete. In addition to the hyperactivity, she loses things often and has a difficult time staying on task on those things she is not interested in. Are these symptoms of ADHD or simply HD? I believe as she is challenged more in school and needs to focus (things come so easy to her now), she will begin to experience difficulties. Do medications used to treat ADHD or HD affect glucose control? What type of doctor is best for evaluating her symptoms?

Answer:

Your daughter would benefit from a comprehensive evaluation for attention problems. I would suggest talking to your pediatrician regarding your concerns. There are a number of behavior modification strategies which would benefit your daughter. If those fail and she indeed have attention deficit disorder, there may be some medications that would also help her which can be taken safely by children and adolescents with diabetes.

MSB