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Question:

From Bellevue, Washington, USA:

My eight year old daughter who has suffered from diabetes-like symptoms since she was four. When she was four, and we were living in a remote area of Mexico, she started having unusual symptoms (very thirsty, very hungry, wet the bed -- never having wet before, fatigue and mood swings. Also, chunks of her teeth fell out. In response to her teeth, we immediately cut out all sugar from her diet. We noticed that her other symptoms subsided as well. When we returned to the States, we had her tested for diabetes, and the test was negative. Over the course of the next four years, however, we were able to determine even more specifically that she would go into a certain set of symptoms (very irritable, craving sweets, fatigued, stomach pain and headache) if she ate sugar, honey, molasses, or maple syrup. She acted very different from other children eating the same food. We have eliminated those foods from her diet. (She is okay with regular fructose.) Also, we have found that if we increase her protein intake and avoid things like plain pasta, she does better. While she has complained especially about headaches and stomachaches more than should be normal, for the most part she has been okay on this diet. Recently, she had a cake sweetened with barley malt (with which she does fine) and molasses. She also had some cereal sweetened with unevaporated cane juice -- which has usually been okay in small amounts. Since that time, however, she has again been "triggered". For the last couple of days, she has been especially thirsty and peeing a lot, and she has complained about a bad bellyache and headache. She has even had to stay home from school with these symptoms, although they do seem to pass with time. I again took her to be tested for diabetes (just a urine test), and it was normal.

I have a child who seems to exhibit symptoms very similar to diabetes, yet she does not test for it. At the same time something is clearly going on, which appears to be directly related to her consumption of glucose. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

Answer:

Diabetes is pretty straightforward. If there is no elevated glucose in the blood, there is no diabetes. I think you've looked a lot, but with what sounds like classic symptoms, I can't tell you not to continue to look.

I'm not sure I have an answer for you about the symptoms with sugar consumption. I might suggest finding a good endocrine/metabolic clinic and looking for some abnormality in sucrose or maybe another sugars' metabolism. Breath hydrogen testing or specific gut metabolites can be looked for.

LD

[Editor's comment: If there's only been a single urine sugar test recently, I'd suggest getting several blood sugar levels, including some after eating, before launching an extensive workup. WWQ]

DTQ-20010122174410
Original posting 5 Feb 2001
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:18
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