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October 7, 1999


Question from New Jersey, USA:

My six year old niece has had Juvenile Diabetes since age two. On occasion she has fits with extreme anger and self abuse. Could these fits be linked to a chemical imbalance due to the diabetes? [email protected]


First, I am not a physician and cannot assess for chemical imbalances. However, you said your niece was displaying “self abuse”. It is unclear what you mean. If you mean head banging, cutting/bruising herself, throwing herself down stairs, etc, all of those things require psychiatric evaluation for the safety of the child.

Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can manifest with mood changes but I have not commonly seen self abuse in those instances.