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ADD and affects on diabetes?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Lynnieg123, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Lynnieg123

    Lynnieg123 Approved members

    Mar 16, 2011
    My 8 year old daughter has started seeing a counselor for a few issues revolving around not being able to control her emotions/anger and having trouble making friends. The couselor mentioned she felt DD might have ADD but she wanted to meet with her several times before going down that road. Now that I have it in my mind as a possibility, I'm having all sorts of questions. Wondering if anyone has experiance with ADD meds and blood sugars. I'm hesistant to diagnose her with anything since ADD seems to be the diagnosis de jour but I tend to think any meds they could put her on might drastically affect her BGs. Of course I'll get her endo involved if the time comes but again, just wondering what others have experienced.


  2. kirsteng

    kirsteng Approved members

    Dec 30, 2012
    We thought our eldest son (almost 10 now) might have ADD, ADHD or a learning disability for the longest time. While very bright, he has had many problems socializing, making friends, and following along with the school routines. We saw an 'educational specialist' who ran him through all the tests (a psychoeducational test) and diagnosed him with a nonverbal learning disability. I wasted umpteen hours buying and reading books on this disability, only to feel increasingly uneasy that it didn't match my son properly in a few key areas. So we spent yet more money to go to a licensed psychologist specializing in diagnosing kids with learning disabilities.. only to find out that he doesn't have a LD. He also doesn't have ADD or ADHD - it turns out that what he really needs is an attitude adjustment. ;) Good news - just no clear and easy answer, either.

    All this to say - I wouldn't waste time seeing a counsellor, specialist or anyone else without the credentials to properly diagnose. If in doubt, go see a psychologist who specializes in children with social/behaviour problems in school and start there.

    GL - I know it's not an easy road!
  3. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

    Nov 10, 2010
    Making a differential diagnoses between ADD and other factors is very difficult. And yes, ADD is a popular diagnoses, sometimes over-diagnosed. IMO sometimes even when it is the correct diagnoses it is also sometimes over-medicated.

    My son would not meet the criteria for ADD but came close in many ways (as would many young boys which is why there use to be a reasonable lower limit under which a child could not be diagnosed with ADD). There was a product at the health food store called "Calm Advantage" which was intended for use with kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. It worked extremely well for my son for many symptoms he had. One of the active ingredients was 5-HTP and eventually we switched to just that and it cost a whole lot less. Magnesium also helped (epsom salt baths are a traditional remedy for "active" kids). You could/should discuss these with your team.

    When looking at the various criteria for ADD/ADHD one could divide them into organic and those that would better be addressed with a "talk" intervention. Medication, vitamins, minerals, herbs, changes in diet, etc would be better geared toward organic/biologically based issues. "Attitude adjustment" as mentioned by someone here, and other therapeutic conversations would be better geared toward internal conflicts. Of course there is a degree of overlap. I used to work at a school where every student was placed there because of severe behavioral issues far beyond what you are probably dealing with. The broadest use of the term organic and the broadest use of terms like "thought disorder" were quite useful in thinking about behaviors even within a normal group of kids.

    Best wishes.
  4. heather

    heather Approved members

    Aug 25, 2006
    My son's got ADD, and takes a daily pill to help control it. The biggest issue is that the pill suppresses his appetite--he hardly eats at all during the day.

    I make sure he gets a good breakfast in him before the pill takes affect, and I moved dinner to a little later. He doesn't eat much lunch--he's just not hungry. Instead, I focus on feeding him at bedtime, when the medication wears off, and he's starving. Not my ideal diet plan for him, but his grades and social life have dramatically improved since he went on the meds, so the trade off is worth it to me. (He's also a lot safer now, too--he actually looks before crossing the street or walking through a busy parking lot!)

    Also, I skip the meds one day during the weekend, so he can eat. That's really seemed to help.

    My son wears a pump, which makes all this do-able--I can lower his daytime basals, and he only has to bolus when he actually eats. He doesn't have to eat to chase a long-lasting insulin. Might be a little trickier if your child's on shots.
  5. StacyMM

    StacyMM Approved members

    Oct 22, 2010
    My son is ADD with diabetes. For us, the diagnosis order was reversed - he was already on ADD meds when the diabetes began. I agree with a previous poster that one of the issues is a lack of appetite. We were on MDI for about 2 months then switched to a pump but it was manageable with both...but we had the advantage of knowing how small his appetite was going to be because he was already on the meds. In fact, I agree with just about everything Heather posted - we see very similar patterns and benefits.

    We actually had him tested for dyslexia and ADD at the same time. Turns out it wasn't dyslexia (reading disorder instead) but the ADD was spot-on. Not sure if it's an option for you, but we went through our insurance's EAP plan and were able to get 6 visits/evaluations completely covered. Testing took 3 1/2 and we met twice to review results and talk about options for behavioral therapy or medications. It was a very enlightening process and I found it all very interesting. We were able to get quite a bit of information on our son that made us better understand how he thinks and reacts. We've had to change meds a few times and tweak dosages as he's gained weight. In fact, we have an appointment next week to make another adjustment because he's finally been able to gain a little weight post-diagnosis.
  6. jellybeanasmommy

    jellybeanasmommy Approved members

    Apr 10, 2013
    My 9 year old has ADHD and has been on medications since 2010. She was just recently diagnosed with T1D. The meds don't seem to make a difference in her BG readings (we only give her ADHD meds on school days). Although, as others have mentioned, some children can experience a lessened appetite while on stimulant medications, although we haven't had a problem with it. If you agree with a diagnosis of ADHD and do decide to medicate for it I would recommend getting your child's endo involved and let them know what is going on so they can keep any eye on the BG readings and help with insulin adjustments if your child does see some appetite suppression.

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