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Hypoglycemia can be a condition by itself. Or it can be a complication of diabetes or other disorder. It’s most often a problem in someone with diabetes. It occurs when there’s too much insulin. This is also called an insulin reaction.
Causes in children with diabetes may include:
Hypoglycemia may also occur in these cases:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your family’s health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have blood tests to check blood sugar levels.
When a child with diabetes has symptoms of hypoglycemia, the cause is most often an insulin reaction.
For children with symptoms of hypoglycemia who don’t have diabetes, the healthcare provider may:
Your child may need to do a supervised fasting study in the hospital. This lets healthcare providers test for hypoglycemia safely.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
For children with diabetes, the goal of treatment is to maintain a safe blood glucose level. This is done by:
To treat low blood glucose quickly, your child should eat or drink something with sugar such as:
This should be followed by eating food with complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein. A good example is a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread.
Blood glucose levels should be checked every 15 to 20 minutes until they are above 100 dg/dL.
If hypoglycemia is severe, your child may need a glucagon injection. Talk with your child’s healthcare team about this treatment.
Not all episodes of hypoglycemia can be prevented. Most children with type 1 diabetes will have hypoglycemia. But you can help prevent severe episodes by:
Other ways to minimize or prevent hypoglycemia include making sure your child:
Children with type 1 diabetes or other conditions that may cause hypoglycemia need to follow their care plan. It’s important to test blood glucose often, recognize symptoms, and treat the condition quickly. It is also important to take medicines and eat meals on a regular schedule.
Work with your child's healthcare provider to create a plan that fits your child's schedule and activities.
Call your child’s healthcare provider if your child:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.