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Question:

From Bucharest, Romania:

My 8 year old son has had Type 1 Diabetes for 2 years. We have not been able to find out what blood glucose levels are considered hypoglycemic and what to do about it, depending upon when his next meal is. Also, he plays tennis three times a week, for two hours every time. How much carbohydrate supplement should he get before his tennis lesson?

Answer:

Here are some general guidelines to follow for the treatment of hypoglycemia:

  1. If blood glucose is below 80 mg/dl with symptoms TREAT
  2. If blood glucose is between 70 79 mg/dl without symptoms FEED
  3. If blood glucose is 69 mg/dl or lower with or without signs TREAT

With regard to your son's tennis lesson that lasts two hours: you have not given the intensity at which he plays. I can only assume that the intensity at his age would be moderate. It is important that your son check his blood glucose before his tennis lesson to allow him to make the appropriate decision with regard to the need for a snack or not. If his blood glucose is less than 100 mg/dl a snack of 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrate before exercise will be needed, then 10 to 15 grams per hour of exercise. If his blood glucose is between 100 to 180 mg/dl 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate is needed. If his blood glucose is between 180 to 250 mg/dl a snack is not necessary. If his blood glucose is above 250 mg/dl he needs to check for ketones. If ketones are present, do not let him exercise.

Snacks that contain 10 to 15 grams of Carbohydrate:
Pretzel logs (small)4
Ritz crackers5
Saltines5
Wheat thins9
Cheerios2/3 cup
1 fruit or starch/bread exchange
 
Snacks that contain 15 to 20 grams of Carbohydrate:
Granola bar1
Combos1 ounce
Corn chips1 ounce
Pop corn3 cups
 
Snacks that contain 25 to 50 grams of Carbohydrate:
Half of a meat sandwich with a milk or fruit exchange
Ice cream bars and sandwiches1
Frozen yogurt3/4 cup

PL

[Editor's comment: Use the Blood Sugar Converter to convert between mg/dl and mmol/l. JSH]

Original posting 21 Aug 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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