From Texarkana, Texas, USA:
During the last three months, my 12 year old daughter has displayed low blood sugar symptoms on two different occasions. The first time was right after a basketball game, and the last time she was at school. The first time she experienced confusion, poor coordination, inability to cooperate, vomiting and slurred speech. The second time she just had poor coordination (she describes it as her legs, arms and face going to sleep) and some mild confusion.
I carried her to the hospital the first time it happened where they ran all kinds of tests and found nothing to explain her symptoms. They ran an MRI on her brain and found nothing to explain her symptoms. I am not sure that they checked her blood sugar level. Her great aunt on her father's side has hypoglycemia, and her great grandmother on her father's side had diabetes. We do not know the history on her mother's father's side of the family.
After the last episode, we noticed that when she drank a Coke, she seems to improve rapidly so we were wondering if she has hypoglycemia. What tests are available for this condition? Can we reasonably assume that we are on the right path?
I understand your concern, and I would suggest you visit a pediatric endocrinologist and explain your daughter's symptoms and history to the team there. They will probably do some tests to see what is going on and also see if diabetes is perhaps developing. We have found that as children develop diabetes, they may run into low blood glucoses levels since it seems as though their pancreas does not put out the correct amount of insulin and sometimes overshoots what is needed.
Until your daughter can see a pediatric endocrinology team, I suggest you bring rapid-acting carbohydrates with you (glucose tablets, available in pharmacies, or little juice boxes or orange juice or other sweetened beverages when you notice the symptoms of hypoglycemia.
[Editor's comment: I didn't see any mention of results of blood sugar testing. It's simply not possible to diagnose hypoglycemia from symptoms alone, and measurement of the blood sugar (by a medical laboratory), and finding inappropriately low levels, is necessary to make the diagnosis. I would assume the hospital did a blood sugar, and if it were low at a time of symptoms, that would lend credence to the diagnosis. You could, of course, measure sugar levels with a home glucose meter, but I would not recommend this unless you are fully trained in its use -- so that the results are not misleading to you and your daughter's doctors. WWQ]
Original posting 29 Apr 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:32
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