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June 23, 1999

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Olympia, Washington, USA:

My son is almost 3 years old. He has always had an intense craving for items high in sugar (fruit, candy, etc.) for as long as I can remember. I try not to give him high calorie "junk foods" as much as possible (I do give in however), but he still consumes a lot of natural sugar in unsweetened apple sauce, grapes, juice, cereals, etc. I realize children naturally like sweet things and need calories to grow and so on, but I think he is obsessed with sugar. I have also noticed that over the last 6 months he has become uncommonly whiny, crabby and has very little patience. The littlest things set him off into a crying, whimpering state that can last for several hours at a time. He is like this almost everyday. This has been going on for several months and seems to be increasing. Watching him reminds me of how I feel if I am very tired and have very low blood sugar. Today I made sure I gave him food which have very low sugar and he seems much happier and more even keel. Is all of this natural or could he have some blood sugar/insulin related imbalance? What are some of the signs of insulin imbalance? Do you have any suggested reading material are website addresses?

Answer:

Does your son have diabetes? I assume not, since you do not list any insulin doses, so I would not be too concerned about enjoying foods which are high in sugar since fruits, as you noted, are high in natural sugar. Keep in mind the fruits need to be eaten in the context of a healthy diet, as including milk at meals (don’t let juice replace the milk) and starches, protein-rich foods, vegetables, even if only a spoonful or 2. If I read this correctly you have diabetes but diet does not seem to be a factor in the development of Type 1 diabetes, so please be assured you are doing okay with your son.

LSF