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August 9, 2000


Question from Mt. Pleasant, Texas, USA:

I have a daughter who is 2 years old. After many many tests, she has been diagnosed with Nodular Lymphoid Hyperplasia in both of her intestinal tracts, fat malabsorption, and failure to thrive. The reason I was writing is because my daughter drinks a large amount of Sprite. She used to drink apple juice in the same large amounts, but she was taken off of that because it seemed to cause her to have diarrhea. She even drinks between 24 and 32 ounces throughout the night. We became worried of the effect that this would have on her teeth, so we tried to stop her from drinking it at night. We gave her water instead. The first time we just removed Sprite from her diet totally and all at once. The next morning at about 6 am, I woke up to find her very sweaty, trembling, her heart was pounding and the rate was very quick, she was breathing fast, and when I got her to wake up, she was very hungry and stumbling around as if she had been drinking alcohol. I was afraid that I had lowered her blood sugar too fast, so I gave her about eight ounces of root beer. After about 20 minutes and a piece of toast, she was a lot better. The next time we tried weaning her off of it by diluting it with water. We had her down to about 1/4 Sprite to 3/4 water. We thought that it would be okay to stop her drinking it again. We tried again, and the next morning she woke up very irritable, pounding and fast heart beat, fast breathing and trembling badly. Again, I gave her about eight ounces of Dr. Pepper while I was fixing her some eggs. In about 20 minutes or so, she was better again. Could this be episodes of hypoglycemia, and if it is, should I just keep giving her the Sprite? It was suggested by a family member that I try juice, but because of her bowel problems, I really can't let her drink that much juice. She drinks all day and thoroughly soaks at least 4 diapers a night. I have to get up and change her or the diaper leaks. She has been tested for diabetes with a urine test one time and a blood sugar test another. Neither of these were done while fasting or anything else. Could this be something that is signaling she may be prediabetic?


Your daughter could be suffering from hypoglycemia. Your physician can give you a meter to easily test her blood sugar during these times to help determine if hypoglycemia is indeed contributing to her difficulties. In the meantime, if the Sprite is helping to avoid those morning symptoms, I would continue to use it until directed otherwise by your pediatrician or gastroenterologist.