From Trinidad, West Indies:
My 13-month old daughter who has Type 1 diabetes has been experiencing 2 A.M. lows, around 45-55. She usually wakes up just before, and we give her milk or juice and she goes back to sleep and wakes up at normal levels in the morning. Is it possible that these lows are causing some form of brain damage while she sleeps although she is not getting hypoglycemic or comatose? I ask this because I know that a child's brain develops in the first 5 years of life, and therefore there is a particular concern for Type 1's at this age going low in blood sugars.
I would recommend discussing with your child's doctor trying to readjust her insulin dose to avoid low blood sugars during the night. We have discussed the reports suggesting that frequent or serious low blood sugars in young children may increase the risk of developing diabetes in the future on children with diabetes. You can find previous questions and answers on this subject.
Although not proven, there is data to suggest that frequent or serious low blood sugars may increase this risk.
For a recent report on this topic, you can read the article "Attentional functioning in children and adolescents with IDDM" in the May, 1997 issue of the journal Diabetes Care, volume 20, pages 803-810. The authors are J. Rovet and M. Alvarez.
Original posting 9 May 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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