Adam Haycock and G B Ajayi describe an alarming new syndrome that affects mainly students
- By: Adam Haycock
Educational diabetes (ED) is a syndrome of unknown aetiology characterised by deranged metabolism, altered behaviour, and the clinical features of diabetes. It is predominantly associated with any type of compulsory intellectual functioning.
Type 2 (exam associated ED): widely prevalent, with seasonal variation particularly in the early summer months. Female>male. Notable by florid symptoms, altered behaviour, and emotional state.
Presentation may be acute or chronic.
Acute presentation is unusual without previous symptoms, but may occur in type 2 in close association with impending exams. Symptoms are as for chronic ED, but they are more florid and associated with nausea, vomiting, palpitations, sweating, tremor, ataxia, and acute confusional state.
People with chronic ED commonly present by their absence from normal activities (sports, clubbing, drinking binges, etc). Pathetic excuses to avoid these--for example, “I can't come clubbing because I have to do some work”--are usually blatantly obvious, and suspicion should be raised.