It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, even in sleep, our brains need glucose for energy. Sugar is an energy source that comes from food, and it is also made in the body and stored there. The bloodstream carries glucose to the body’s cells, where it is the main source of energy. In this article on kidsrush.com, we will tell you about Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar Levels In Children: Causes, Signs and Symptoms and Treatment. Let’s Start!
It is characterized by a drop in the blood glucose level (also called blood sugar level). Symptoms associated with very low blood sugar levels should be treated immediately.
When blood sugar levels drop below the target range for a diabetic, the level is considered low. Symptoms might not appear when blood sugar levels are slightly below the target range, but if it happens repeatedly, treatment may need to be adjusted.
The diabetes health care team will decide a child’s blood sugar target level after considering factors such as the child’s age and ability to recognize hypoglycemia symptoms, as well as the diabetes treatment plan’s goals.
Table Of Contents
Causes Hypoglycemia Or of Low Blood Sugar Levels In Children
It is quite common for diabetics to have low blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar levels from getting too high and staying too high is a major goal of diabetes treatment for short- and long-term health maintenance. Dependent on the type of diabetes, diabetics may use insulin or pills to accomplish this. Usually, these medications keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, but they might lead to sharp drops in some cases.
Patients with diabetes who take blood sugar-lowering drugs are more likely to develop hyperglycemia if:
- If you are taking diabetes medicine, you may skip or delay meals and snacks or eat fewer carbohydrates than you should. A stomach bug (such as an upper respiratory infection) can cause kids to lose their appetite, throw up, and experience vomiting.
- When taking insulin at the wrong time, using the wrong type, or taking too much insulin
- Increased physical activity is not accompanied by any additional snacks or adjustments to diabetes medicines or insulin dosages to prevent blood sugar drops
Hypoglycemia can occur for the following reasons:
- Hypoglycemia while sleeping, or nocturnal hypoglycemia
- Late postexercise hypoglycemia occurs after exercise for several hours
- Drinking or using drugs after drinking alcohol. Blood sugar levels can drop if you drink alcohol, as your body cannot maintain a normal level. In the case of low blood sugar, someone who uses alcohol or drugs may not realize it. Don’t let your child or teen use drugs or alcohol without speaking to them about the risks.
Hypoglycemia is also more likely when certain conditions increase how quickly insulin is absorbed into the bloodstream. A hot bath or shower after a patient receives an insulin injection to promote blood flow can increase the rate of insulin absorption.
A muscle can absorb insulin faster than a fatty layer underneath the skin, so it’s beneficial to inject it directly into the muscle. In addition, it is also possible to enhance the effectiveness of insulin by injecting it into a part of the body where you frequently perform a particular sport (like your leg right before playing soccer). There is an increased risk of hypoglycemia in each of these situations.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar Levels In Children
If your blood sugar level drops too quickly, you might notice various signs and symptoms. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are not the only conditions that can cause symptoms like these.
Warning signs of low blood sugar include:
- Hunger pains or extreme hunger (some kids complain of “hunger pains”).
- Tremors or shakiness
- Rapid heartbeats
- cold sweat
- Skin color that is gray or pale
- Feeling cranky or irritable
- Feeling drowsy
- Feeling dizzy
- A stumbling or an unsteady walk
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Convulsions or seizures
If a child has nocturnal hypoglycemia, they might have periods of crying, nightmares, or night sweats (and suffer from damp sheets and/or pajamas), or groggy or feeling migraine next morning.
Discover: Pancreatitis In Children: Types, Causes, and Treatment
Checking for Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar Levels In Children
The body releases adrenaline when blood sugar drops below a certain level, which helps bring glucose into the bloodstream faster. Shivering, sweating, and shakiness are early signs and symptoms of adrenaline release after this way of thinking.
When hypoglycemia isn’t treated and brain cells don’t get the glucose they need to function properly, more serious symptoms can follow, such as confusion, drowsiness, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
It is only by testing a child’s blood sugar levels that you can be certain that they have low blood sugar levels. Tests for blood sugar levels can be performed with the help of glucose meters, which measure and display amounts of glucose in blood samples. In circumstances where it might be difficult to check your child’s blood sugar right away, it is important to take action right away to prevent hypoglycemia symptoms from becoming worse.
Diabetes children may appear to have low blood sugar levels, but their levels are actually normal. A false reaction is what we call this. A person’s blood sugar levels can also fall rapidly from high to normal when adrenaline is released. You can identify false reactions by checking blood sugar levels before administering hypoglycemia treatment.
Many kids turn to imitation to avoid something unpleasant or to get a sweet treat if their blood sugar is low. Hypoglycemia can also be confirmed by checking the blood sugar level.
You should talk to your child about low blood sugar signs and symptoms. Symptoms should be reported by children as young as two even if they can’t verbally express them. Kids will realize that their feelings and the need for treatment are connected. Kids should also be able to ask for assistance when they need it.
A condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness occurs when diabetics are unable to recognize the common signs of low blood sugar, which can lead to serious complications. People with hypoglycemia are more likely to fail to seek treatment for it promptly if they don’t recognize the symptoms. In addition to the risk of losing consciousness, this could also lead to seizures and other more serious symptoms as their blood sugar drops.
Tell your child’s diabetes health care team if you are concerned he or she is having trouble sensing low blood sugar.
Read Also: Pityriasis Rosea in Children: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Treating Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar Levels In Children
Based on the severity of the symptoms, your diabetes health care team will provide the best treatment options.
Make sure your child’s symptoms are related to hypoglycemia by testing their blood sugar before treating them. Do not delay treating your child’s symptoms if your child’s blood sugar cannot be checked right away – after the blood sugar has returned to normal, a test can be done.
A low blood sugar level should be corrected as soon as possible. The fastest way to do this is to give your child foods high in sugar or carbohydrates. Hypoglycemia can be treated in general by:
- Food or drink that provides fast-acting glucose, such as soda, orange juice, or frosting, will benefit your child
- A glucose-containing tablet or gel may be prescribed for your child. After your child consumes sugar, symptoms usually disappear about 10 minutes later.
- Your child’s blood sugar should be rechecked to make sure that the level has not changed and you should give him food to protect him from suffering another low.
If your child’s symptoms are severe after giving sugar or if the symptoms get worse after giving sugar by mouth, give glucagon (see below)
It may be difficult or even potentially dangerous to give sugar by mouth to people who have severe hypoglycemia that can cause seizures or lose consciousness. Glucagon should be injected in such cases.
Blood sugar levels are quickly raised with glucagon. Once severe hypoglycemia is suspected, glucagon should be given immediately, without waiting to call an ambulance or a doctor.
The child should awaken within 10-15 minutes after receiving glucagon. He or she can then take sugar or food, which will help keep blood sugar levels high. As soon as your care team advises you to do so, call 911.
If your body has a severe low blood sugar reaction requiring glucagon treatment, you should consult your doctor right away – this might mean your diabetes management plan needs to be changed to prevent future hypoglycemias.
To help your child’s caregivers and teachers: tell the following:
- Hypoglycemia signs and symptoms
- Taking glucagon shots and when to take them
- Medical emergencies and when to seek them
You and your child’s caregivers must be able to easily find your glucagon kit, which your doctor can prescribe for you.
Read Also: Tick Bites In Children: What To Do With Them?
Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels
When you and your child know what drops of low blood sugar levels mean and are prepared, it is less likely that they will occur and severe symptoms will be avoided.
Remember: Having injected insulin, it can’t be stopped from working. Thus, to prevent low blood sugar episodes, insulin dosages must be matched to your child’s needs daily – taking into account his or her meals, exercise, and other factors.
Keeping your blood sugar levels in check involves:
- Inject the correct dose and type of insulin at the correct time as well as at the correct injection site for your child.
- If your child is experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia, check their blood sugar frequently and whenever necessary.
- After an insulin injection, your child should not take a hot bath or shower.
- Be sure to check your child’s blood sugar levels before and during exercise, and give them snacks when needed to maintain or return them to a healthy level.
- As outlined in the diabetes management plan, ensure your child takes his or her medication, eats meals at the recommended times, and exercises regularly.
- Whenever your child has low blood sugar symptoms, they should be given something containing sugar at all times.
Kids with diabetes will inevitably experience low blood sugar at some point, no matter how careful parents and children are. Thus, they should always wear an identification tag or bracelet (such as a necklace or bracelet) so that they can be identified in case of an emergency. It can also provide emergency contact information in addition to identifying your child as diabetic.
Call your child’s doctor or diabetes health care team with any questions you have about low blood sugar levels.
You May Also Like: Causes And Solutions If Toddlers Hit Themselves in the Head?