Signs and Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
The signs and symptoms of low blood cipro and high blood sugar sugar can vary depending on the person and how quickly the level falls. Also, problems other than hypoglycemia or diabetes can cause similar symptoms.
Warning signs of low blood sugar include:
- extreme hunger (some kids complain of a gnawing stomachache or "hunger pain")
- shakiness or tremors
- rapid heart rate
- cold sweat
- a pale, gray skin color
- moodiness or crankiness/irritability
- unsteadiness/staggering when walking
- blurred or double vision
- seizures or convulsions
- loss of consciousness
Kids who have nocturnal hypoglycemia may have bouts of crying, nightmares, or night sweats (with damp sheets and/or pajamas), and might wake up groggy or with a headache.
Checking for Low Blood Sugar Levels
When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. Paleness, sweating, shakiness, and increased heart rate are early warning signs of this adrenaline release.
More severe symptoms — such as confusion, drowsiness, seizures, and loss of consciousness — may happen if the hypoglycemia isn't treated and the brain doesn't get enough glucose to work properly.
The only way to know for sure if your child has low blood sugar levels is to test them. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a glucose meter, a computerized device that measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. However, if the situation makes it impossible or inconvenient to quickly check the blood sugar, it's important to treat your child for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Sometimes a child with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar, but the levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. Adrenaline also can be released when blood sugar levels fall rapidly from a high level to a normal level. Testing blood sugar levels before giving treatment for hypoglycemia can help you identify false reactions.
Also, some kids may learn to fake symptoms of low blood sugar to get a sugary treat or avoid something unpleasant. Again, checking the blood sugar level can confirm the presence of hypoglycemia.
It's important to discuss the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar with your child. Even younger kids who can't verbalize symptoms should learn how to alert their parents when they don't feel well. This will help kids make the connection between how they feel and the need for treatment. Kids also should know when and how to find an adult for help.
Some people with diabetes don't have or can't sense the early warning signs of low blood sugar, a condition known as hypoglycemic unawareness. They're at greater risk for not recognizing the need to get treatment for hypoglycemia promptly. This could lead to more serious symptoms, such as loss of consciousness or seizures, as their blood sugar falls.
If you think your child is having trouble sensing low blood sugar, be sure to let the diabetes health care team know.
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