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Question:

From Ohio, USA:

My 11 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a month ago. He also has had ADHD (attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity) since he was 6 years old. His behavior since we have came home from the hospital has been worse than ever (hyper, uncontrollable, not doing school work, etc.). It is like his Ritalin doesn't even work. His regular doctor suggested increasing his Ritalin but I hate to do that -- but I have to do something! I checked his sugar levels when he was acting up and they were fine. Can diabetes make ADHD worse? Can it affect how his Ritalin works? Is it the diabetes that makes him act this way? Is it puberty setting in? I am really having a hard time dealing with this and would appreciate any help you could give me.

Answer:

It sounds like you are having a pretty hard time. I don't think that there is any pharmacological reason for your son's deterioration because I can't imagine how Ritalin would be affected by blood sugars or insulin. However, the trauma of a diagnosis of diabetes may, in itself, be enough to make your son feel insecure and very unhappy (injections, blood tests and diet restrictions aren't a lot of fun). You need to talk all of this through with your diabetes team and psychologist (if you have one). I suspect that things will settle back down fairly soon.

KJR

Original posting 28 Jun 1998
Posted to ADHD

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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