A decrease in the concentration of glucose in the blood to below 2.5 mmol / l is a condition that is extremely dangerous even for an adult. Unfortunately, insulin shock can also occur in the youngest, including newborns. How does hypoglycemia manifest in children and is recovery possible?
Hypoglycemia - what is it and why do children suffer from it?
The lack of glucose in the blood is a terrible symptom, especially when it comes to small patients. This pathology occurs in 1.5-3 cases per thousand newborns and leads to the development of serious pathologies or even death of babies.
The main sign of hypoglycemia is a sharp drop in blood sugar. Normally, the glucose content should be between 3.5 and 5.5 mmol / l. This concentration provides the need for her brain and other organs. If the sugar is more or less, it will adversely affect health.
What is the risk of hypoglycemia in children? This pathology causes a metabolic disorder. Lack of glucose adversely affects mental and physical development. The attack may begin suddenly (sometimes hypoglycemic syndrome develops in a dream). Lack of glucose leads to severe headaches, can cause coma and lead to disability.
In order not to bring trouble, this state can not be left without attention. The child needs treatment, proper nutrition and a special mode of behavior.
What children are prone to hypoglycemia?
Among newborns there is a risk group in which cases of hypoglycemia are recorded much more often. It includes:
- premature babies (less than 32 weeks) and newborns weighing less than 1500 g;
- babies born to women with diabetes mellitus (in this case, pathology occurs in 90% of newborns);
- children born as a result of cesarean section;
- newborns who in the womb experienced oxygen starvation;
- breastfed babies that do not "signal" that they want to eat. They should be fed at intervals of not more than 3 hours and monitor body temperature;
- newborns who cannot be breastfed. Their feeding must begin no later than 3 hours after birth;
- babies born as a result of pathological childbirth.
Why does hypoglycemia develop?
Hypoglycemia in newborns appears for the following reasons:
- genetic factors. Gene disorders result in damage to the cells of the pancreas, with the result that it begins to synthesize too much insulin;
- congenital liver disease;
- the presence of hyperglycemia in the mother of the baby.
In children under 10 years of age, hypoglycemia may be unmotivated. Falling sugar is also often associated with long breaks in food, high physical, emotional and mental stress, impaired metabolism and diseases of the nervous system.
One of the most common causes is diabetes mellitus and adrenal dysfunction. Insulin-dependent children often suffer from hypoglycemia. The cause of its occurrence is a large dose of insulin or incorrect intake of glucose-lowering drugs. Hypoglycemia may also occur in type 2 diabetes mellitus (both in children taking insulin and those to whom it is not prescribed). The reason, in addition to an overdose of antidiabetic drugs, is a violation of the diet, too high physical exertion (or a complete rejection of the movement), the wrong diet (excluding foods containing carbohydrates).
Signs of hypoglycemia in infants and children
Since the newborn cannot tell about his condition, doctors make a conclusion about hypoglycemia on the basis of characteristic signs and sugar tests. Symptoms appear as early as 1-3 days. Low levels of sugar in babies can be found on the following manifestations:
- trembling limbs;
- low pressure;
- restless behavior;
- pale skin;
- The most dangerous signs of hypoglycemia are a temporary cessation of breathing (apnea) and paralysis of the respiratory center.
In older children, insulin shock manifests as it does in adults. The child complains of headache, hunger, nausea, weakness, his hands are trembling noticeably. When touched, the skin is cold, but it sweats heavily. Behavior may vary from aggression to a state of non-participation. Pressure and temperature fall.
If you do not take action, there are more alarming symptoms. A child cannot answer normal questions or follow a simple instruction. He is breathing heavily and intermittently, his heart beats often. A further drop in glucose levels will lead to drowsiness, disorientation, and loss of consciousness.
How to remove hypoglycemic syndrome and is it possible to cure a child?
If a child has an attack of hypoglycemia, then urgent measures are necessary. What should I do? If a boy or girl is conscious and can swallow, then it is best to give tablets with glucose. If not, then honey, a slice or a spoonful of sugar will do. You can prepare a solution of glucose - for this dissolve a spoonful of sugar in 50 ml of water. You can also give the child juice or give him to chew on several caramel sweets.
If the child loses consciousness, you should immediately call the ambulance team. Treatment of hypoglycemia in the newborn is carried out by injection of glucose, in severe cases, make a shot of glucagon or hydrocortisone.
Parents often ask if the child can be completely cured. In fact, hypoglycemia is not a disease, but a condition that is associated with disorders in the body (most often the endocrine system). To avoid the recurrence of seizures, it is necessary to monitor the sugar level, examine (and, if necessary, treat) the liver and stomach.
Proper nutrition, breastfeeding, glucose monitoring with a glucometer, moderate physical activity and metered loads are the best prevention of hypoglycemia. There is another rule for diabetic children: they should always have sweets, sugar or glucose tablets with them, and also have a note with them stating that the child has diabetes and an attack of hypoglycemia is possible.