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Question:

We have a 5 year old daughter who was recently diagnosed with hypoglycemia. This has bcause of all of the symptoms, chalky color, clammy sweat, bellyache, arms and legs tingling. I had my pediatrician tell me that this could be a prelude to diabetes. On my side, we have two Juvenile Diabetic cousins, adult onset grandmother, and three adult onset great aunts(great aunts to myself).

My concern is that we are told that hypoglycemia in children is quite rare. We have taken her to a pediatric endocrinologist, and they felt like her passing out episodes were normal in a growing child. Also, they felt like she could be holding in emotions. Hence, we did not feel as though our situation was taken seriously.

I always gave her cola to settle her, and 15 minutes later she is fine! I am supposed to check her ketones if we get a reading on the monitor of below 70. The lowest reading I have had has been 72.

I'm concerned with her becoming diabetic and I want to prepare as much as I can. I have friends with diabetic children who say in hindsight that that their child had hypoglycemic symptons. My child is not aware of diabetes, only that she can't have sugar(we are on a high protein diet prescribed by the doctor, and it works wonderfully) She is wonderful on the diet, no more symptonns, only rarely. She request food at about 1 and a half hour intervals, we no longer deny her a snack, knowing what we now know.

Any information would be so helpful.

Answer:

Yes indeed diabetes can present as hypoglycemia. In childhood this is very uncommon and the interlude before the onset of insulin dependency not more than a few months. Probably it was often missed until antibody studies started to be done in first degree relatives of known Type 1 diabetics. It seems to be slightly more common in young adults, and the usual explanation is that in the damaged islet cell tissue first phase insulin release (that is, insulin secreted in response to a rise in blood sugar) is delayed and comes inappropriately after blood sugar has subsided.

After 18 months it is most unlikely that the cause of the hypoglycemia was diabetes; but if you are still anxious you could talk to your pediatrician about getting islet cell antibodies measured. A negative test would rule out diabetes. You might also one day need to make a more detailed exploration of the cause of the hypoglycemia; however it certainly looks as though dietary measures are doing fine.

DO'B

Original posting 31 Aug 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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