We took our 10 year old son to our physician because I had a suspicion that he had hypoglycemia. Whenever he does not eat he becomes totally irrational. He is very athletic and there are times when he is competing where he looks like he just has no more energy all of the sudden. However, our doctor said there was no test for hypoglycemia and diagnosed our son on the basis of his symptoms. Are there certain tests for hypoglycemia?
I do not know of any specific test for hypoglycemia, but it sounds like if he goes for awhile without food, especially with heavy exercise, his blood glucose levels drop and he becomes very hungry.
If he does have true hypoglycemia, I would encourage you to provide small snacks between meals or just before and after exercising. This will allow his blood glucoses to stay closer to normal. We usually suggest that people with this challenge have small snacks between meals -- something like crackers and cheese or peanut butter and crackers, or something similar. He can also have some sweets with this snack, but he should not eat sweets (as juices, candy, pop or even a piece of fruit) alone. The added protein and fat of the snack have proven very helpful.
[Editor's comment: There is, of course, one very specific test for hypoglycemia: measuring the blood sugar level, and finding that it is below normal. In my opinion, it would be inappropriate to definitely diagnose hypoglycemia without having documentation of a low blood sugar.
The diagnosis of hypoglycemia can be suspected based on appropriate symptoms (such as confusion from brain malfunction, presumptively from lack of the brain's fuel, glucose, and other symptoms such as sweating and rapid heart rate, from release of epinephrine as the body tries to counteract the low sugar) and appropriate relief of the symptoms with appropriate therapy (the symptoms should dissipate soon after eating high-sugar foods), but a low sugar level is still needed to be sure. WWQ]
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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