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Question:

From Woodland Park, Colorado, USA:

My 13 year old daughter recently had an episode at school volleyball practice that I think may have been hypoglycemia. She became groggy, disoriented and uncoordinated, and the coach, thinking she was high on drugs, yelled at her and made her go home. My daughter said she didn't know why this happened, she just felt suddenly very tired, hungry and out of it. There is some diabetes in my family. Does this warrant testing for diabetes? Should I be concerned about a single episode? Is testing only effective while the symptoms are present? This is extremely out of character for my daughter and she swears that she has never used any illicit drugs, and I believe her. Thank you.

Answer:

If her symptoms went away without any food, it is unlikely that they were do to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but only testing the blood sugar while symptomatic can determine this.

It is possible if she hadn't eaten or drunk liquids for a while that she became dehydrated. Dietary salt restriction and salt loss during exercise can also cause these symptoms. Another possibility is an irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) induced during exercise. I suggest you consult your child's pediatrician to further discuss this episode and decide if any tests are indicated. I would also ask the coach not to send her home if this happens again but to notify you to pick her up.

TGL

Original posting 22 Sep 97

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