What Is Hypoglycemia In Children
Hypoglycemia is when the level of sugar in the blood is too low. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the brain and the body. The normal range of blood glucose is about 70 to 140 milligrams per deciliter . The amount differs based on the most recent meal and other things, including medicines taken. Babies and small children with type 1 diabetes will have different goal ranges of blood glucose levels than older children.
What To Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar dips, it can leave you feeling hungry, shaky, and lightheaded. This can happen to anyone who hasnt eaten in several hours. When blood sugar drops below normal levels, its called hypoglycemia. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening complication of diabetes medication, other health problems like infection, or inadequate caloric intake.
You can lower your chances of low blood sugarand treat it when it occurswith some simple steps.
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Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia and occurs when blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL. Low blood sugar can become life-threatening if it becomes severe, so its essential that people with diabetes and those caring for them know which foods to eat when low blood sugar occurs.
Suppose someone has repeated incidents of low blood sugar. In that case, they may develop hypoglycemia unawareness, which is when they dont notice low blood sugar symptoms as quickly as they once could. Hypoglycemia unawareness increases the risk of severe hypoglycemia, so treating and preventing hypoglycemia is very important for the health and safety of people with diabetes.
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Whats Considered Low Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar tends to fluctuate throughout the day. Itll be lower when you first wake up, especially if you havent eaten for the past 8 to 10 hours.
Your blood sugar will go up once you eat. Depending on when you last ate, heres whats considered to be a normal blood sugar range:
|Fasting||2 hours after a meal|
|7099 mg/dL||Less than 140 mg/dL|
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, is when your blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL.
The point at which low blood sugar symptoms become noticeable is different from one person to the next.
Some people may feel jittery, irritable, or lightheaded when their blood sugar level falls to 70 mg/dL. Other people may not feel any symptoms until well below that mark.
A quick, simple blood test can measure your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes or another medical condition that sometimes causes episodes of low blood sugar, its important to regularly check your blood sugar with a home test.
If a test shows that your blood sugar is below normal, you can take steps to adjust it quickly.
Symptoms of low blood sugar vary from person to person and can even be different from one episode to the next. You may experience specific symptoms the first time your blood sugar dips, and different symptoms the next time.
The most common mild to moderate symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- jitters or shaking
More severe symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- inability to eat or drink
Key Points About Hypoglycemia In Children
Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood glucose is too low to fuel the brain and the body.
It may be a condition by itself, or may be a complication of diabetes or another disorder.
To treat low blood glucose right away, your child should eat or drink something with sugar, such as orange juice, milk, cake icing, or a hard candy. They should follow with food with complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein, such as a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread.
Severe or long-lasting hypoglycemia may result in seizures and serious brain injury.
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I Eat Almost No Carbs And My Blood Sugar Is Still High Charlotte’s Story
Meet Charlotte Faith.
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14, Charlotte weighed only 83 pounds.
Even though she ate large amounts of food, she found herself ravenously hungry and began gaining weight rapidly. Only 1.5 years following her diagnosis, Charlotte gained about 70 pounds, weighing over 150 pounds.
Soon after, Charlotte embarked on a journey to lose weight and fully control type 1 diabetes, which involved eliminating heavily processed foods and eating a low-carbohydrate paleo diet.
In combination with moderate exercise, Charlotte began losing weight. As a paleo food blogger, she made sugar-free, low carb treats to satisfy her cravings for carbohydrate-rich food and was able to lose about 32 pounds.
Charlotte limited her carbohydrate intake to no more than 50 grams per day, yet still experienced high blood glucose values after eating a banana or half a sweet potato.
She often complained to herself: I eat almost no carbs and yet my blood sugar is still high! How is this possible?
In addition, Charlotte developed hypothyroidism and lost her period for 7 years.
What Is The Long
The long-term outlook for people with an insulinoma is very good if the tumor is removed. After surgery, most people recover completely without complications. However, an insulinoma may return in the future. Recurrence is more common in people who have multiple tumors.
A very small number of people may develop diabetes after surgery. This usually only occurs when the entire pancreas or a large portion of the pancreas is removed.
Complications are more likely in people with cancerous insulinomas. This is particularly true when the tumors have spread to other organs. The surgeon may not be able to remove all the tumors completely. In this case, more treatment and follow-up care will be necessary. Luckily, only a small number of insulinomas are cancerous.
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What Is The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index food score is a tool you can use to understand how certain foods affect your blood sugar. Foods on the lower end of the scale are known to have a slower impact on your blood glucose, whereas foods on the higher end are known to have a much quicker effect. If you have low blood sugar, higher-GI foods may be better for you.
Eating tips for managing blood sugar levels:
- Spread your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.
- Aim for two to four servings of carbs each meal and one to two servings at snack times. One serving is 15 grams of carbohydrates.
- Choose whole grains and high-fiber foods.
- Choose whole fruits over processed ones, such as fruit cups, jams, and juices.
- Eat from a variety of food groups during your meals and snacks. For example, eat apples with peanut butter, turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato, and tofu with rice and vegetables.
- Include lean protein with each meal for longer-lasting energy, such as fish, low-fat cheese, and eggs.
- Add healthy fats in small amounts, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil.
- Pair sweet treats and fruits with other foods.
- If you drink alcohol, eat at the same time.
- Know that foods containing fat or protein slow the blood sugar response and will not work if you need to quickly raise your blood sugar. This includes chocolate, ice cream, crackers, and bread.
What Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose, also called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below what is healthy for you. For many people with diabetes, this means a blood glucose reading lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter .1 Your number might be different, so check with your doctor or health care team to find out what blood glucose level is low for you.
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How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia
You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:
- Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
- Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
- Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
- Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
- Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
- Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.
Talk To Your Doctor Or Nurse
If you use insulin and your blood sugar is frequently or consistently low, ask your doctor or nurse if you:
- Are injecting your insulin the right way
- Need a different type of needle
- Should change how much insulin you take
- Should change the kind of insulin you take
DO NOT make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.
Sometimes hypoglycemia can be due to taking the wrong medicines. Check your medicines with your pharmacist.
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Low Blood Sugar After Exercise
When you exercise, your body pulls sugar from your bloodstream to fuel the activity. It also draws on sugar stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver.
This is why your blood sugar level tends to drop during a workout. Its common for blood sugar to continue to drop for several hours after exercise, too.
If your blood sugar level drops to 70 mg/dL or lower, its known as low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. In most cases, hypoglycemia can be treated by eating or drinking fast-acting carbohydrates. In severe cases, hypoglycemia must be treated with a medication known as glucagon.
Its Strange That Blood Sugar In A Diabetic Can Rise Despite Not Having Eaten Anything Since Typically Eating Causes Blood Sugar To Go Up
But its no uncommon occurrence that in diabetes, glucose or blood sugar levels can actually rise in the absence of eating.
When we dont take food into our body for energy, our liver will try to help us by releasing glucose into our blood so we have the energy we need to stay alive, says Lucille Hughes, RN, CDE, director of diabetes education atSouth Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY.
For people with diabetes, the liver may release too much glucose, causing blood sugar to go up.
This is why its so important for diabetics to regularly take blood sugar readings, even if they feel fine.
The liver has hundreds of jobs. One of those jobs is to release glucose into the bloodstream for energy because the body requires energy to function, even when at rest.
Basic bodily functions require energy and glucose provides that energy.
In diabetes, things are out of whack in the body. The liver in the diabetic may sometimes overestimate how much sugar to release into the bloodstream.
Or, to put it another way, the liver over-corrects the problem.
The only way that a diabetic can stay ahead of this curve is to monitor their glucose levels on a regular basis throughout the day to make sure that the sugar level doesnt sneak its way into getting into a dangerously high range.
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No Symptoms Be Alarmed
Surprisingly, the most dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia occur with little or no warning. When low blood glucose occurs on a regular basis, the body can become used to the warning signs and the person may stop noticing symptoms. This is a particularly dangerous condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. People with this condition might not realize they have low blood glucose until it’s dangerously low seizures and coma are sometimes the first indication of a problem. The good news is that this condition can often be reversed allowing people to once again notice the signs of low blood glucose if hypoglycemia is avoided for a few weeks through careful monitoring of blood glucose.
Treating Severely Low Blood Sugar
Blood sugar below 55 mg/dL is considered severely low. You wont be able to treat it using the 15-15 rule. You also may not be able to check your own blood sugar or treat it by yourself, depending on your symptoms. Make sure your family members, friends, and caregivers know your signs of low blood sugar so they can help treat it if needed.
Injectable glucagon is the best way to treat severely low blood sugar. A glucagon kit is available by prescription. Speak with your doctor to see if you should have a kit. Be sure to learn how and when to use it. Let family members and others close to you know where you keep the glucagon kit and make sure theyve been trained in how to use it too.
Its important to contact a doctor for emergency medical treatment immediately after receiving a glucagon injection. If a person faints due to severely low blood sugar, theyll usually wake up within 15 minutes after a glucagon injection. If they dont wake up within 15 minutes after the injection, they should receive one more dose. When the person is awake and able to swallow:
- Feed the person a fast-acting source of sugar .
- Then, have them eat a long-acting source of sugar .
Its also important that friends, family, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other people you may be around often know how to test your blood sugar and treat severely low blood sugar before it happens.
If any of the following happens, your friend, relative, or helper should call 911:
Low Blood Sugar Facts
- Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. It typically occurs as a side effect of medications for diabetes.
- The normal range of blood glucose is from 70 to 100 mg/dL in an individual without diabetes,
- Most people will feel the effects and symptoms of low blood sugar when blood glucose levels are lower than 50 mg/dL.
- Severe cases may lead to seizures and loss of consciousness.
- Low blood sugar is treated by giving a readily absorbed source of sugar, including soft drinks, juice, or foods containing sugar.
- If hypoglycemia has progressed to the point at which the patient cannot take anything by mouth, an injection of glucagon may be given. Glucagon is a hormone that causes a fast release of glucose from the liver.
Best Foods For Low Blood Sugar
For patients with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is a part of daily life.
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can occur for many people with diabetes who are on certain medications, including insulin and sulfonylureas. It can occur for a variety of reasons including skipping a meal, exercising strenuously, taking too much insulin or consuming alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
Low blood sugar can be as minor as a slight inconvenience or as serious as a life-threatening emergency. Thats why it is important to boost blood sugar before it becomes problematic.
Angela Norton, a diabetes educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, has diabetes herself, so she knows firsthand the tips and tricks of keeping blood sugar on track. Although blood glucose is considered normal if above 70 mg/dL, Norton says patients with diabetes should not wait until they reach below that threshold to take action.
Treat when you feel the symptoms, even if your blood sugar is not below 70, because as long as it is less than 100, it may be dropping fast, she says.
When it comes to treatment, Norton shares these five foods to help boost low blood sugar.
1. CandyWhen hypoglycemia occurs, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise blood glucose and check your levels again after 15 minutes. When the numbers return to normal, eat a snack to stay on track.
Gummy candies contain carbohydrates, which have a large impact on blood sugar levels.
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Is Type 1 Diabetes Care Different For Kids Versus Adults
You can be diagnosed with T1D at any age.
Although this autoimmune condition was once known as juvenile diabetes, that name is outdated and does not reflect the reality that kids, teens, and adults can all be diagnosed with T1D.
The CDC still reports that the peak age is between
ADA emphasizes that children are not little adults. That means diabetes treatment plans should reflect the differences in anatomy and physical development in kids and adults.
As kids grow into adolescents and go through puberty, their diabetes care plan should reflect how their changing body responds to things like exercise, sleep schedules, and diet.
What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.
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A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes
A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.
Possible causes include:
- a gastric bypass
- other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
- some medicines, including quinine
See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.