Physical Illness vs Mental Illness

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Nichole went to her reg fam doctor to be re-tested for diabetes as she was having some pretty scarey symptoms. (going numb in fingers and face, horrible thirst, fainting...)

    Fam doctor said he doubted she is diabetic. (and he's said this like 20 times) Nichole told him about the other fam doctor she'd seen while welfare had messed up her insurance and that she'd had 3 fasting blood sugars that came back pretty darn high. (over 170)

    So fam doctor decided to test for both diabetes and hypthyroidism (because of easy child and fam history), thinking it was probably more the thyroid. Fam doctor didn't do a fasting blood sugar, instead did the blood test that actually TESTS for diabetes.

    Her results were thru the roof!!! So now he's doing the 4 hr glucose tolerance test. Although I am not getting the point of this??? Especially with the results of the other unless it's to see how she is going to react??

    Ya know, I really like her fam doctor (same as easy child's fam doctor) but there are moments when I wanna get in his face and go HA! I TOLD YOU SO!:biting:

    I had no doubt what the test results would be. But I've had to live with a VERY moody Nichole because he'd told her she didn't have to do the diabetic diet because he didn't think she was diabetic. So she's been up and down and crashing and burning all over the place.

    Now I am wondering.

    Nichole has always had blood sugar issues. Up until her teen years it was low blood sugar. She was my Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. She had to eat throughout the day and I had to do my best to balance her carbs with protien. Sweets were rare. Teachers in grade school learned quickly that if Mr. Hyde showed up to feed her and she would go back to normal.

    We know how teens are with junk food, even if those foods aren't in the home. ( I rarely have junk food around) And the hs has almost nothing but junk food for the kids to eat, high carbs and fat.

    A child with low blood sugar almost always develops diabetes by their teens or early adulthood. (I didn't learn that fact until last year)

    So, with blood sugar resolving her mood issues as a child....... How can you sort out how much of her bipolar symptoms are actually blood sugar issues?? Because believe it or not, alot of the symptoms are similar. Is her bipolar diagnosis accurate? And how would we go about finding out?

    I haven't said a peep about this to her. She's good about taking her medications. And I don't want to mess that up if the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis is accurate.

    But I'm gonna tell you, I KNOW even on the medications when Nichole has had junky food vs what she should be eating. I don't even have to ask her. On the flip side, when Nichole was being careful to follow a dibetic type diet her moods were mellow and stable. She was pleasant to be around.

    So if this were your child, do you have any ideas on how this might be sorted out? Because if the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis isn't accurate I don't want her taking medications she doesn't need.


    See why I haven't said anything to her. lol It makes me dizzy to try to sort it out.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    There is no easy answer. I'd say to wait and see if they start her on insulin and how she does. My bet would be that low blood sugar has been *ahem* enhancing her mood swings, not the sole reason for them.

    I'm hypoglycemic and have been since a child...we first started to suspect it when I was around 6. When my blood sugar drops, I do the Mr. Hyde thing, too. Irritable doesn't even begin to explain it. But, it's much different than the irritability that comes with a mood disorder, my depression for example. And I can't see it causing the other symptoms of BiPolar (BP), such as grandiose thinking, etc. The best way I know to explain it is that it feels like my body is shutting down and I need to eat and if anyone interrupts me or wants anything from me...well, I have no patience for it because I'm basically in survival mode. My kids know when I say that I need to eat that nothing else happens until I'm feeling better.

    But, that's a far cry from a lot of the symptoms of BiPolar (BP). However, having blood sugar fluctuations could make her mood swings much more volatile and pronounced. I could definitely see that.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh..and doesn't she have a rheumy? I'd have her talk to him about the going numb issues, too, especially if it doesn't resolve with diabetes treatment. I had to fill out a bunch of info for my recent rheumy appointment and it asked questions about numbness in the face, etc.

    Also, she'll need to have her kidney's monitored regularly, too. Diabetes just opens up the door to so many other issues. Sigh... I think just BiPolar (BP) would be easier.

    So sorry.

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You've made some valid points. Thanks. :D

    As for grandious thinking, well Nichole has never had that as a symptom of her BiPolar (BP). Never. (yet anyway)

    I do know what you mean about when the blood sugar was low and the survival mode. been there done that so much with this kid. And she has learned to eat, and what to eat when she's feeling certain ways. Tough lesson though.

    Guess will see if she'll need insulin, and how she does before looking into anything else for now.

    Didn't even think of the rhuemy symps. thanks for reminding me.

    As for the kidneys.......Well, she and her sibs are already being closely monitored as we have kidney disease pretty bad in the family.

    Lord, I hope it can just be diet controlled. My neice went on insulin at 18 (she's a yr older than Nichole) and they're still not able to get her stable. She's been in ICU 3 times already, and had to put off college plans.

    In some ways I think you're right, BiPolar (BP) at least doesn't open up so many possiblities of problems in other areas. *sigh*
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I've been through this with my child.

    You can probably find a diabetes forum and search to see what they have to say about bipolar. If diabetes commonly affects behaviour/mood to that degree, it will probably be known by the people on the board, even if it isn't recognized by the doctors. If it looks like a possibility, then she could try to slowly taper off and see how she does.

    For my child, it is pretty clear that diet affects her behaviour. I do still wonder sometimes if she might need some kind of medication, though, because when she has a diet mistake, her behaviour is so extreme. So another consideration is how compliant you think Nichole will be with her diet.
  6. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member


    I'm glad this doctor is running these tests. I was hypoglycemic but took care of it with diet. husband's oldest (and ex) are insulin dependent diabetics. The oldest was not diagnosed until he was 14 and living with us. He had severe mood swings, off the wall, and as soon as we found out that it was diabetes and got him stablized he mellowed considerably. When his blood sugar was high he was uncontrollable... a real difficult child.

    Sadly to say we didn't notice the symptoms.. :( We were in the process of buying our home and resettling (no excuse but the true reason) and didn't notice how much weight he had lost. He complained of having to go to the bathroom constantly also. When we finally had him tested he was very close to a diabetic coma. We were so used to his complaining about everything since he was small that we just stopped listening. :( Don't feel very good about that. :(

    Anyway, we had our youngest difficult child tested yearly after that but he has not developed diabetes yet. Hopefully he won't.

    If a person's blood sugar is way off they can even appear drunk. Diet is very important. I had to learn to measure everything. He is currently doing very well now. :)

    Sending you and your difficult child good thoughts and many hugs.