Stuttering and Sugar Intake

Updated on August 08, 2012
A.E. asks from New Richmond, WI
10 answers

My 5 year old son has been stuttering off and on for the past year of so. At his 4 year check up we brought it to the doc's attention and because he wasn't stuttering all the time we were told to not worry about it or discuss it and most likely the problem will correct itself. That is what we did at first than noticed the the stuttering seemed to be getting worse, right around the time I switched from milk as the main liquid to orange juice (trying to cut out dairy). We have since stopped the oj, but noticed that if our son consumes a lot of sugar (fruits or other foods) his stuttering is awful. I have even noticed if I give him a vitamin every day even that little bit of sugar effects him. I will NOT let my child have any artificial sweeteners, so food with those are not an option. I am wondering if anyone else has has this problem with their child, if so what have you done to help? Thanks!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Hi A.,
I don't mean to confuse the issue more, but I may seek out a speech pathologist. As a nurse, I have a bit of a problem with all of the previous advice. First of all, the potential of hypo or hyperglycemia manifesting itself as stuttering is extremely unlikely. Secondly, all candida is, is a yeast infection. Pure and simple. It's very common. You may want to ask your ped about the speech pathology route or, if he/she is unwilling, see if your insurance will cover a visit without a referral. They will do an assessment and you can go from there. I know people are well intentioned with their postings, but I, at times, cringe at some of the recommendations. Sorry if anyone thinks this is too harsh.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I took my son to a speech clinician (or therapist, not sure the exact title) when he was about 3. His father stutters, so it was very scary for us when our son started. He grew out of it fairly quickly though. Pay attention to the sounds he seems to be getting stuck on. Help him transition into those sounds, find a calm time to talk or read and use those sounds often. I would seek out a professional - if he grows out of it, no problem, but if not, they will help you with what to do. Also, try very hard not to react to it in a negative way, or give any attention to it at all.



answers from Green Bay on

I don't have experience with stuttering, but you should know that Shaklee vitamins do not have sucrose, nor artificial sweeteners, nor artificial colors or preservatives!

If you'd like to see them, go to .

(By the way, I do know of a woman who had a terrible stuttering problem who improved dramatically after starting Shaklee supplements.)

Best wishes to a stutter-free future! By



answers from Minneapolis on

My 4 1/2 yr old had been very distracted and, per the recommendation of some wonderful moms here on Mamasource, I have removed all artificial coloring and MSG from her diet and I have noticed a difference already. I have heard some kids can show some hyperactivity also with the artificial colors ... especially the Red dyes.
Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

He's five years old I'm assuming he's in Kindergarten then? Assuming he's in public school tell his teacher about your concern. Here in Omaha if the child has any sort of a speech issue that the parents are questioning he has to be evaluated. It's free and if they do determine he needs intervention he'll be put into speech. My son is in it and has been for over a year now. He just leaves class twice a week for about an hour and has improved more than I can write! My daughter just started kindergarten and was already evaluated for speech issues and is now in the program and will start seeing the patholigist in a week.

If you aren't in public school or your state doesn't have provisions for this. . . I'd also seek out a speech patholigist on my own and pay to have my child evaluated. I wouldn't ignore a stutter hoping it goes away. My husband's sister went to private school the whole of her life and they ignored her stutter. She is now 19 and has one of the worst stutters I've ever heard and had she been in public school it would have been tackled... but beings she wasn't and her parents never took her she'll have to start dealing with this as an adult!!



answers from Omaha on

First of all, stuttering is NOT related to the foods we eat. A lot of younger children stutter in the first few years of life because it is a time of a lot of language growth. I am working on my masters degree to become a speech pathologist, and currently taking an entire class on stuttering. Stuttering as a child is very normal, but it is important that you understand when it becomes a problem. If he continues to stutter than you should ask his school to perform an evaluation, or seek out a speech pathologist in your area. Make sure you do not pressure hi to "speak clearer" or it may make the situation worse. Hope this helps :)



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter stuttered really bad from 3-4 years old and occasionally at 5 yrs. old it was because she is so intelligent and had such and exstensive vocabulary that her brain worked faster than she could spit those words out.

Stuttering has nothing to do with sugar or what foods you eat.

If your worried have your pediatrician refer you to a speech therapist or have the local school district test him and see if he qualify's for help. My daughter outgrew this problem and I helped her by listening, not interrupting her, getting down to her eye level and being supportive and not rushing what she was trying to say being patient.



answers from St. Cloud on

Hi A.! I am FLOORED by your responses so far! First of all, stuttering is NOT a symptom of diabetes or hypo glycemia and eliminating a food group without a Dr.'s supervision will NOT cause "diatetic" issues. I would throw that response out all together.
Also, taking Shaklee vitamins will not cure stuttering and should not be marketed as a solution. They are good products but it's unlikely that they will cure your son. This appears to be a deeper problem.

I found an article that may interest you. Have you heard of candida? It's a yeast overgrowth that is very common in our country, yet not often diagnosed. When you stated that high fruit consumption was a trigger, it made sense that candida may be the cause.
Here is the link to the article. I recomend going to a naturopathic doctor or a practitioner that uses applied kinesiology to be tested.

I hope you find answers soon!



answers from Tampa on


As an SLP specializing in the evaluation and treatment of stuttering, I recommend for starters that you contact a speech-language pathologist. Be sure the SLP specializes in stuttering. You can contact the Stuttering Foundation of America for their listing of specialists. The SLP will help you determine if your child is presenting with normal nonfluency, incipient stuttering or secondary stuttering. In all cases you will then have a plan for managing his dysfluent speech.

Best wishes, J. P



answers from Minneapolis on

Are you eliminating dairy because of allergies? If so, hasn't the doctor recommended a supplemental source of calcium such as soy milk etc.? Orange juice is very hard on stomachs and depending on what type you're buying can be loaded down with sugars(even natural products with no added sugars can have an extremely high sugar content!!). It seems your pediatrician would make the connection right away if there is a connection with something in his diet, if he knew his patient had allergies or special needs that way. If your son is not lactose intolerant, yet you are experimenting with a self-fashioned health regime, I'd say he might be having a serious dietetic issue and should return to his doctor for evaluation. Be sure to explain the change in his diet. He may be hypo or hyper-glaucemic (sp?), diabetic, or his keytones might be off etc. Eliminating foods (whole classes such as dairy, meats, etc.)unnecessarily without medical guidance can be **dangerous**to a young metabolism.

Your other consideration is to take him to a speech therapist for evauluation and second opinion.