Day In The Life Of Diabetic Children
According to ADA in 2005, the blood sugar levels in children should be higher than those in the chart above for all the children who have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels without experiencing any signs or symptoms.
Remember: your main aim to achieve possible normal blood sugar levels without causing frequent low blood sugar.
If you have a child under the age of 6 and is with diabetes, try to achieve higher ranges of blood sugar.
The children of this age group do have frequent episodes of severe low blood sugar levels which can cause problems related to intellectual ability.
In case your diabetic child is adolescent, you aim to achieve blood sugar levels similar to adults.
But you must understand that children of this age have high levels of growth hormones, which counteract with the effects of insulin.
What you can do is to watch out if your children blood sugar level is as listed in the chart above at list 50 per cent of the time, than you may be relaxed.
You’re having a reasonable diabetes control.
But in case you’re not reaching the target above, you may need to change your diabetes plan for a better diabetes control.
Blood Sugar Testing Tips
Managing Blood Sugar When Youre Ill
When you get sick, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate and become unpredictable.
If you’re sick, it’s very important that you:
- drink plenty of water or sugar-free fluids
- check your blood sugar levels more often than usual
- take 15 grams of carbohydrate every hour if you are not able to follow your usual meal plan
- replace food with fluids that contain sugar if you can’t eat solid food
- continue to take your insulin or other diabetes medication
If you have a cold or flu and want to use a cold remedy or cough syrup, ask your pharmacist to help you make a good choice. Many cold remedies and cough syrups contain sugar, so try to pick sugar-free products.
As an extra precaution, you should always check with your health-care team about guidelines for insulin adjustment or medication changes during an illness.
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How To Recognize High Blood Glucose
Your child may be thirsty and need to urinate often. Very high blood glucose may cause nausea, blurry vision, weakness, or dizziness. Help your child learn to recognize his or her symptoms of high blood glucose. Make sure your child knows to tell you about them right away. But keep in mind that sometimes there are no symptoms.
Blood Sugar Levels For Kids And Teens With Diabetes
Well-controlled blood sugars help children with diabetes grow and develop normally. Your doctor will help you figure out what levels are right for your child, since targets change as kids get older. Test your childs blood sugar several times a day so youll know what you need to do to adjust it. Your goal is simple: Get it into the target range when it isnt. What causes ups and downs? Food Growth and hormones Illness Stress and other emotions No one expects a growing childs blood sugar levels to be normal all the time. And when your child enters puberty, his hormones could cause problems with blood sugars changing wildly. Remember, the numbers on the meter arent good or bad theyre just numbers. They give you information about how to keep your child healthy. Since you or your child might not notice symptoms, testing is the best way to avoid dangerously high and low levels. Help kids learn to manage their diabetes on their own. Encourage good habits. Praise your child when he tests, regardless of the result. Dont let him feel bad or blame him when his levels are out of range. Offer support to get him back on track.Continue reading > >
- Worlds first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Children
Younger than 6 years old mg/dL
Adults who are 20 years or older will have blood sugar levels that range between less than 100-180 mg/dL over the course of a day. When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar should be at its lowest because you havent consumed food for about eight hours. If youre an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.
Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. Blood sugar levels are considered high if theyre over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people wont start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. The highest blood sugar level thats considered safe will depend on the person and whether they have diabetes, but will typically be between 160 to 240 mg/dL.
What Is Essential For You To Know About Your Childs Health
Here are some essential things that you should know about your child.
- You should keep an eye on the behavior of your child.
- You should notice if you find some difference in his/her routine. For example, if your child is urinating more than usual.
- If your child mostly remains tired or feels fatigued even after some activity, ask a doctor.
- You should be frank enough that your child can discuss everything with you.
- Also, try to observe his/her social interactions with other his/her friends and fellows.
- If you feel any mood swings, then dont ignore but find the reason.
- You should be educated enough that you know about the common medical thing. For example, what is the regular blood sugar of a non-diabetic child? Similarly, what are the symptoms of diabetes? etc.
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Low Blood Sugar For Children Age 6 And Older
A blood sugar less than 70 is too low.
Testing Your Child’s Blood Sugar
Good diabetes management is important both for your childs day-to-day health and to help prevent any diabetes-related problems in later life. Regular testing of your childs blood sugar level is a key part of this.
Your paediatric diabetes team will give you a blood glucose meter, used to check your childs blood sugar levels. Normally, there are a few to choose from and your diabetes team will help you and your child make the right choice. Your meter comes with a finger-pricking device and an initial supply of lancets and testing strips . Your diabetes team will also explain to you how to get further free supplies of these on prescription from your GP.
Many parents worry or are anxious about testing their childs blood sugar levels. Pricking their fingers can be painful, especially at first, and no parent wants to hurt their child. Then theres the anxiety about what the levels will be. Youll be told your childs target levels to aim for, and it can be frustrating and even scary if youre not meeting these.
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Do You Have To Fast For An A1c Blood Test
Unlike the fasting plasma glucose and the OGTT tests, there is no need to fast before having the A1C test. If A1C test results indicate a person has or might have diabetes, a healthcare provider might suggest one of these tests to confirm the results. Another test, the random plasma glucose test, which does not require fasting, can also be used. If the results are borderline or if the results of the different tests do not match, a doctor might suggest repeating the test in several weeks or months.
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Blood Sugar Levels Action Points
- Ask your diabetes team what blood sugar targets your child should aim for and what to do about high/low results.
- Check with your diabetes team the best times of day to test, and if you need to test at night.
- Make sure you get free testing supplies on prescription talk to your diabetes team for more information
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Testing And Your Child
An essential part of managing your childs diabetes is frequently testing their blood sugar levels to help avoid highs and lows and knowing when to test for ketones. At times, this testing may be difficult both for you and your child, especially if theyre very young.
Suggested Glucose Target Ranges
The American Diabetes Association published a position statement in 2005 on the standard of care for children with type 1 diabetes. Below is a table with the ADA’s recommendations on age-specific blood sugar goal ranges. Blood glucose goals should be higher than those listed in the table for children who have frequent cases of hypoglycemia and don’t experience the associated signs and symptoms.
Your child’s diabetes health care team will recommend an individualized target range for blood sugar levels. The general goal is to maintain as normal as possible blood sugar levels without causing frequent low blood sugar. Research has shown that in children under the age of 6, frequent, severe low blood sugar levels may result in neuro-cognitive deficits problems related to intellectual ability so target ranges are higher in this age group.
Adolescents should strive to achieve similar target ranges as adults. However, this may be difficult because of higher hormone levels, such as growth hormones, which counteract the effects of insulin. If your child’s sugar levels are in the ranges listed below at least 50 percent of the time, then blood sugar control is considered reasonable. If sugars levels exceed the range more than 50 percent of the time, then sugar control is not optimal and the diabetes plan should be changed.
The Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar levels can happen to kids with diabetes because of the medicines they have to take. Kids with diabetes may need a hormone called insulin and/or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood. These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down.
But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act, and blood sugar levels can get too low. Kids with diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. How do they do it? With help from grown-ups, they keep three things in balance:
Each one of these can affect the other. For instance, eating more might mean a kid needs more insulin. And exercising might create the need for an extra snack. Again, a grown-up can help you learn how to juggle those three activities so you keep feeling good.
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food at a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating something extra
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
- taking a long bath or shower right after an insulin shot
Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
People with diabetes have difficulty creating or using enough insulin, which is the hormone that helps convert glucose into energy. Although there is no universal blood sugar chart for everyone with diabetes, clinical organizations like the ADA and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists offer guidelines on target blood sugar levels as a starting point.
Healthcare providers typically tailor normal blood sugar target ranges to an individual diabetes care plan. This includes considering your:
The normal blood sugar level for a healthy adult should be less than 126 mg/dL or 6 mmol/L before fasting and meals, and below 200mg/dL two hours after meals.
If you are diabetic, then you should consult with your doctor in order for appropriate blood sugar level targets to be set based on the severity of your condition, medications taken and overall health status.
The below information describes what normal blood sugar levels are prior to and after meals and what the recommended HbA1c levels are for those with and without diabetes.
A HbA1c test determines your average level of blood glucose over the past two to three months. Red blood cells have a lifespan of roughly three months, and a HbA1c blood test measures the amount of glucose that has bound to them during this period.
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Signs Of Diabetes In Kids
It can be challenging to spot the signs of diabetes in children because they may not be able to communicate their symptoms to you. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some signs to look out for:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination, especially within a short amount of time
- Extreme hunger, accompanied by weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
Bed-wetting is another diabetes red flag, Cara Schrager, RDN, a certified diabetes educator at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center, tells LIVESTRONG.com. Diabetes in children is typically diagnosed after they have been potty-trained, so “bed-wetting is a big giveaway,” she says. “If a child starts wetting the bed again, it’s important to bring it up with their pediatrician.”
Nausea and vomiting are particularly important signs to watch out for because they are symptoms of a rare but life-threatening diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis .
Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:
- Take too much medication or insulin
- Are late eating a meal or snack
- Have increased physical activity
- Drink too much alcohol
Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.
Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.
It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.
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Treating Low Blood Sugar At Night
There are two ranges of blood sugars to treat if your child is low because they need more carbohydrates if their blood sugar is less than 50.
Nighttime Low Blood Sugar Treatment For Children UNDER 5 Years Old:
|Blood Sugar 50 or less||Blood Sugar 51-100|
- Any 15 gram carbohydrate item
- 14 cup = 2 ounces
- 12 cup = 4 ounces
Do you still have questions about managing your childs blood sugar levels during the day or at night? Contact the diabetes team at Childrens Diabetes Center, Childrens Hospital & Medical Center at for more information about how to treat your childs blood sugar levels to keep them safe.
How To Reduce Blood Sugar
You can take steps to reach your blood sugar goals as soon as you find out that it is high. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a single high reading that may be dangerous:
- Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
- Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
- Drink water to dilute the sugar
- Exercise for 15 minutes
- Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, ½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, ½ cup of beans, or ½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese
If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan:
- Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
- Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
- Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
- Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!
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