Hypoglycemia Signs and Symptoms in Children

Hypoglycemia signs and symptoms in children and diabetics, are caused by low blood sugar or low blood glucose. Low blood sugar is a medical condition that occurs when the blood sugar of an individual drops below 70 mg/dl or below its normal level. Blood glucose is extremely important to our bodies because its the main source of energy that it uses.

Our bodies extract this glucose fuel source from the various foods that we consume on a daily basis.

The carbohydrates that are present in our daily diets, are the main source for the glucose needed by our bodies.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, is a condition that could also indicate that you may have diabetes. This is chronic disease that is affecting millions of individuals worldwide.

It can produce a variety of symptoms and cause a variety of health problems that can lead doctors to their conclusion. Hypoglycemic symptoms or signs can be either mild, moderate or severe. All stages of this health problem should be treated immediately, especially symptoms of the severe stage.

The most severe hypoglycemia signs and symptoms that an individual may experience, will arise from an inadequate supply of glucose fuel to their brain. An inadequate supply of glucose to the brain will hinder its ability to function normally in every day life. This is a condition known medically as neuroglycopenia.

After an individual has eaten a meal, their body absorbs the glucose from that meal directly into their bloodstream. Once absorbed, the glucose is then carried to the cells of the body where it is used as energy fuel. Insulin - a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, is responsible for getting the glucose into the cells. It knocks on the door of the cells; thus, telling them to open and accept the glucose.

Please be mindful that excess blood glucose will and is stored in the liver and in the muscles. This stored glucose is known as glycogen. Glycogen is another hormone that is used by the body for energy between meals. Unfortunately you can also store excess glucose as body fat and before you know it, you are now fighting an over-weight problem as well. Our bodies also use fat as a form of energy fuel.

Hypoglycemia signs and symptoms can occur suddenly and are usually mild. Treatment for mild low blood sugar can be achieved very quickly with 15 to 30 grams of dextrose (glucose). This type of blood glucose treatment normally comes in a gel or tablet form. Whenever mild symptoms of low blood sugar is left untreated, they will become severe. These are the symptoms which can cause unwanted seizures, comas, and in some cases death.

Known hypoglycemia signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms that are an indication of low blood sugar, often comes in two stages! The first stage is related to your nervous system's response to low blood sugar issues. This stage is know medically as Adrenergic symptoms. In this stage, the early signs and symptoms of low blood sugar are as follows:

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  • A shaky feeling.
  • A feeling of hunger.
  • A feeling of confusion.
  • A feeling of dizziness.
  • Constant headaches.
  • A feeling of irritability.
  • A rapid heart beat or racing pulse.
  • Sweating that is not associated with exercising.
  • A pale looking skin color.
  • Body trembling.
  • A weak feeling.
  • A feeling of anxiety.
  • Palpitations

Most individuals can raise their blood glucose by eating or drinking something immediately; however, if there is no change in their condition after eating or drinking, they can begin to show Neuroglycopenic low blood sugar symptoms. This is the second stage of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, that include such symptoms as:

  • Confusion.

  • Amnesia.
  • Fatigue.
  • Personality change.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Difficulity in speaking.
  • Focal or general motor deficit.
  • Paralysis.
  • Hemiparsis
  • Paresthesia.
  • Headaches.
  • Coma.
  • Abnormal breathing.
  • Generalized or focal seizures.

The hypoglycemia signs and symptoms mentioned above do not occur or appear in any consistent order. Another thing to remember too, is that not all of the signs and symptoms mentioned above occur in every case of low blood sugar either. These are specific signs that can vary by an individual's age and by the severity of their low blood sugar, at the time of attack.

Causes of hypoglycemia signs and symptoms

Low blood sugar is a serious medical emergency. It requires immediate recognition of its signs and symptoms and immediate medical treatment. This requirement, is necessary so that other victim do not experience any other health problems. These health related issues, can range from organ damage to brain damage. Most forms of mild and severe low blood sugar occur as a result of various diabetes treatment as well.

These diabetes treatment usually involves insulin therapy or some form of diabetic oral medication/s.

Low blood sugar signs and symptoms seem to be less common in non-diabetic individuals; however, it can happen in children and adults at any age.

There are several causes of low blood sugar symptoms such as:

  • Excessive insulin production.
  • Excessive fat.
  • Amino acid.
  • Organ acid metabolism.
  • Hormone deficiencies.
  • Prolonged starvation.
  • Fasting.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Oral anti-diabetic drugs.

There are some oral diabetes pills or medications that do not cause a drop in blood sugar when they are taken alone; however, when these diabetes pills are combined with other drugs used in diabetes treatment, they can increase your risk of displaying low blood sugar signs and symptoms.

Taken alone, diabetes medication such as Acarbose (Precose), Metformin (Glucophage), Miglital (Glyset), Pioglitazone (Actos), and Rosiglitazone (Avandia), do not cause low blood sugar symptoms; however, whenever these anti-diabetic drug treatment are combined with insulin or other diabetes pills that increase insulin production, your risks of developing low blood sugar are increased.

Other known causes of low blood sugar

As we can see from the above mentioned information, an individual can develop develop low blood sugar simply from their diabetes medication. Consequently, there are some diabetes medications that are injected which can also cause an individual to display hypoglycemia signs and symptoms. They are as follows:

  • Pramlintide (Symlin) - This is a diabetes drug treatment that is used along with insulin.
  • Exenatide (Byetta) - This diabetes drug treatment can also cause hypoglycemia signs and symptoms when it is used in combination with other drugs such as chlorpropamide, glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, tolazmide, and tolbutamide.

How to treat hypoglycemia signs and symptoms

The healthy blood sugar or blood glucose count for a healthy individual is under 100 mg/dl; however, hypoglycemia signs and symptoms vary from person to person. Individuals that are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms that are related to low blood sugar.

By learning to recognize their symptoms, they can describe them to their family and friends. Letting them know what to look for in case of an attack.

This will be additional help for them anytime they experience any type of hypoglycemia symptoms or signs.

In the case of young children - especially those that attend school, it is recommended that the staff of the school be notified and trained to recognize hypoglycemia signs and symptoms in a child. And know how to go about treating this condition immediately.

Hypoglycemia treatment means that, you have to rapidly restore your blood glucose level to normal. An individual can restore their blood sugar by ingesting or administering some dextrose (a form of sugar) or food from the carbohydrate food group. This dextrose or carbohydrate food has to able to be quickly digested and converted to glucose (sugar) in order for it to be effective.

Starch is quickly digested and converted to glucose; therefore, it is an excellent choice for treating your low blood sugar symptoms. This however, is only providing that the individual/s is not taking any form of Acarbose as a form of diabetes treatment. Acarbose and other alpha-glucosidase inhibitors prevent starchy foods and other sugars from being broken down into monosaccharides, so that they can be absorbed by the body.

Although full recovery from an attack of low blood sugar usually take about 10 - 20 minutes, an individual can begin to experience some relief from their hypoglycemia symptoms in as little as 5 minutes after treatment. On the flip side of things, there are some cases where individuals are unable to receive any type of starchy foods, dextrose, oral glucose gel or tablets.

This is usually due to the fact that the individual is unconscious or experiencing some kind of seizure.

They could even be experiencing some form of mental problems which will make them unable to think straight.

This particular condition could be caused by brain damage.

In such cases, emergency personnel such as EMTs/Paramedics, and in hospital personnel can establish a peripheral or central IV. The IV that is administer, consist of a solution of dextrose and saline.

These type of IV treatments are usually referred to as dextrose water in the medical field.

Preventing hypoglycemia signs and symptoms

Apparently the most effective means of preventing hypoglyceamia symptoms or attacks, depends on the causes of the condition in the first place. Further risks of experiencing diabetic hypoglycemia symptoms, can often be reduced by the following:

  • Lowering the dosage of your insulin injections or your other diabetes medications.
  • Be very meticulous of your blood sugar balance during unusual hours of the day.
  • Lowering high levels of exercises.
  • Reducing your alcohol consumption.

There are some treatments that are use to treat hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. However, these treatments depend on the exact form and the severity of the low blood sugar symptoms that are being experienced at the time.

If the mild or moderate form of low blood sugar is not treated immediately, it can quickly turn into the more severe form. This is why it is so important that you, your family or friends are able to recognize all hypoglycemia signs and symptoms

Hypoglycemia signs and symptoms must be treated immediately!

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