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Question:

From Texas, USA:

My 3 year old son was diagnosed by a pediatric gastroenterologist with sugar intolerance about 2 years ago. He had suffered from chronic diarrhea since approximately 6 months after birth. The physician said to take him off of all sugars, including natural sugars found in foods. We put him on a very restrictive diet and his diarrhea cleared up and his behavior went from explosive "fits of anger" to calm with rare "fits of anger;" however, we still allowed him some fruit in small amounts and some foods low in sugars. Recently the explosive fits of anger have begun to return as well as an increase in urination. We will also be checking his blood sugars to assess for hypo- or hyperglycemia. I was wondering if you could direct me to a resource for foods low in all types of sugar. Evidently, we have been giving him something with more sugar than we thought. This is a very hard diet to adhere too, both at home and day care. My son does tell people he cannot have sugar, but sometimes the sugar is hidden. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Answer:

Your son's situation sounds too complicated for me to figure out through cyberspace. You mention two problems you feel are related to sugar, one is diarrhea, the other is behavioral disturbances.

Diarrhea can certainly be caused by sugar intolerance, but it would be unusual for this to be from all sugars. I suggest you consult with you pediatric gastroenterologist to further identify which sugars he needs to avoid.

Hyperactivity due to too much sweets has never been adequately documented. I would not restrict him from all sugars unless you have more evidence that sugar is the cause of his behavioral problem. I would discuss this issue with a child psychiatrist.

Finally, diarrhea and hyperactivity can both occur in a child with an overactive thyroid (unrelated to sugar intake.) Excessive urination can also be seen in an overactive thyroid (there should be no sugar in the urine). Although this condition is rare in young children, I suggest discussing with your pediatrician obtaining blood tests for overactive thyroid.

If there is no sugar in the urine, the excessive urination cannot be from diabetes mellitus, so you do not need to check his blood sugar if there is no urine sugar. If he continues to urinate excessively, I would recommend speaking with your pediatrician about further evaluation.

TGL

Original posting 7 Sep 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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