April 24, 2009 6:09pm CST
A few weeks ago I saw an advertsment for Mystery Diagnosis. There was a little boy who could not stop eating, I really wanted to watch it to find out what could cause that and I ended up missing it. did anyone catch that one? What could cause that?
• United States
24 Apr 09
I did not see that episode; but, this is a subject I know about. Allergies and food sensitivities can affect the body this way. The chemical changes caused by the histamines the body produces can actually affect the brain's receptors and thek the brain sends signals out to produce chemicals to stimulate the appetite. This does not happen to everyone with an allergy or sensitivity - only a fraction of these people are affected this way (others will sneeze, get headaches, asthma, anxiety, rashes, etc. etc. etc.). This problem can NOT be fought with willpower. When this happens to a person their body is telling them they are STARVING; even when their stomach is so full it hurts! This started happening to me about 15 years ago and I could not figure out why some days I literally could nOT stop eating until I realized it only happened on days when I ate pancakes (frozen or made from a mix) for breakfast. The reaction would not wear off for 12 or more hours. I tried eating pancakes made entirely from scratch and no reaction - no hunger pains. About 10 years ago, I learned that this is ONE of over a hundred different reactions that you can have from histamine production (caused by allergies and food sensitivites). So, no frozen or made from a mix pancakes and no out of control hunger. I can live with that. The real problem is figuring out WHAT is triggering this reaction and then avoiding it OR you can just take antihistamines on a regular basis if the antihistamines do not cause any side effects (they do make some people drowsy). FYI - this is also a very common side effect of MSG (monosodium glutamate) BUT it is normally NOT that severe. This side effect is exactly why food manufacturers add MSG to food. MSG tricks your brain into thinking something tastes better AND it makes you want to eat more at the same time. That is why so many people believe that if you eat Chinese/Japanese food you will be hungry again in an hour. You are not really hungry; your brain just thinks you are.
• United States
25 Apr 09
I saw it. It wasn't that he couldn't stop eating (so the commercial was kind of off), it was that his blood sugar would drop really low, so he had to eat something regularly, or he would pass out. So, if for some reason, he couldn't eat for a day, he could die. I actually recorded that episode, so I'm going to skim through it, and kind of tell you what happened :P The little boy, named colin... about a year old... drinks a whole lot, all the time. One day, the dad finds him and it looks like he's passed out. So, the dad takes him to the emergency room, and the doctor tells them that the excessive thirst can be a sign of diabetes. So they test his blood, and his blood sugar isn't high like they thought, it's actually really low. So they put him on an IV for his hypoglycemia, and tell his parents to make sure he eats regularly to keep his blood sugar up, and if he ever seems lethargic or shaky, give him something sweet. A month later, his hands were shaking really bad, so they tried to give him food, but he wouldn't eat, and he was closing his eyes. They take him to the hospital again, and they give him another dose of glucose. The parents tell the doctor that because Colin had slept early and they didn't want to wake him up, they hadn't given him dinner. So, the doctor tells them never to let him miss a meal. They go to the pediatrician for help, and he recommends another doctor. He recommends a fasting test. So, they take Colin in to the hospital, ate a little, put an IV in, and they waited to see how his blood sugar would drop as time went by. Eventually, Colin's blood sugar kept dropping, and he became unresponsive. It had dropped below 50, so they drew some of his blood, and give him a glucose IV to bring him back around. 3 hours later, he was normal again. The doctors test the blood, and that enables them to eliminate some causes for his blood sugar problems. They do a DNA test, but the results will take 5 months. A few months before they get the results, they start to notice that his vocabulary isn't normal. He isn't speaking as many words as he should be at 18 months, and by 2 years old, he isn't putting 2 words together. He could speak 5 - 10 words, and the average child of that age should have a vocabulary of about 250 words. When they get the DNA test results, it tells them he has Congenital Hyperinsulinism (CHI). "In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces insulin to help break down glucose consumed in carbohydrate rich foods. However, in patients like Colin, the pancreas is blind to the blood glucose level, and never stops producing insulin. As a result, their blood sugar levels can drop extremely low, unless a patient is consuming a steady stream of calories." So it's the opposite of diabetes. Colin's system burns through the glucose that his body needs for energy. As that runs out, hypoglycemia can quickly set in. People who are hypoglycemic get grumpy, start shaking, then fall asleep, and get get brain damage. His speech delays are probably related to his blood sugar dropping, since it can cause brain damage. His excessive thirst was related to his body needing more glucose. It's unusual that CHI is diagnosed that late in life. Usually, it's diagnosed in infants. His parents make sure he never misses a meal, and they check his blood sugar levels regularly. They also feed him a strict diet, high in protein and complex carbohydrates. A diet high in simple sugars may cause him to release insulin more rapidly... that would be bad. They watch how much simple sugar he gets. He's working with a speech therapist, and hopefully he'll eventually catch up. I don't have CHI, but I do get hypoglycemic everyday, and it's a really bad feeling lol I have to make sure to eat more protein and fiber and less simple sugars, and eat more than a few times a day. I can't eat much in a single meal, so I just eat like 5 or 6 little meals :D I hope that helped :)