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August 11, 2003

ADHD

Question from Glen Burnie, Maryland, USA:

My granddaughter, diagnosed with type�1 diabetes about 11 months ago, and not in good control, has had problems in school, and will be repeating the first grade. Her sugar readings fluctuated so much that she could not focus in class. Is this normal for children with diabetes? Also, the school feels that she has ADD and want her on medication to help her to focus. What are your feelings on this?

Answer:

The issue of ADD is important, and it would be ideal for the assessment(s) to be done when her glucose levels are in good control. If she truly has ADD, the various medical (and don’t forget behavioral!) therapies may be terrific for her. A note of caution, however: typically the medications used are psychostimulants which can inhibit the appetite. Again, these are issues to discuss with her diabetes team. Typically, the benefits of ADD medications outweigh the negatives, even with diabetes.

DS