My daughter was given a diagnosis of Ketotic Hypoglycemia a year and a half ago. We do not allow her to have any sugar and if she accidentally gets some she at 6 years old recognizes how it makes her feel. She is in great health but recently, out of the blue she seems to have a drop in blood sugar. At least, that is my assumption. She is very sleepy looking and wants to go to sleep and is hard to keep awake. When give a little candy or some sweet tea she perks up within 15 minutes. Is this normal? Does she have more of a chance of developing diabetes than a child without the diagnosis of ketotic hypoglycemia?
Thanks for your time
There are lab tests that can be done that show the presence of antibodies if the pancreas is being attacked by the person's immune system. This happens when a person becomes a type 1 diabetic and the immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas' insulin-producing cells. If these antibodies are present, the patient is watched carefully in case diabetes does develop. If you are concerned about your daughter's condition leading up to diabetes, you may want to ask her doctor about the feasability of running this test to see if her body's immune system is active.
As far as what her chances are of developing diabetes, I am not aware of any numbers that have been published giving firm percentages. It is true that some people who develop type 1 diabetes seem to exhibit symptoms of hypoglycemia before the onset of diabetes, for the pancreas can misbehave when it is under attack by the immune system. It sounds to me as if you are treating her symptoms quickly and properly, but I believe I would probably encourage you to push her doctors a little harder to try to find the CAUSE of the hypoglycemia rather than to simply treat the symptoms. It certainly seems that you should have access to a glucometer so you do not have to guess whether she is hypoglcyemic or not. Doing a blood test is pretty painless these days (test on the sides of the fingers instead of in the center of the finger pad where it is more sensitive), and it is a very simple way to find out exactly whether she is hypoglycemic or not. Although the ranges considered normal vary a tiny bit, depending on the source, my own doctor quotes a range of 70-126 before meals as being normal. After meals, the levels in a non-diabetic person supposedly can go up to the mid-140's before dropping back into the normal range again.
Although she is not allowed to have any refined sugar, you may also want to speak with a diabetes educator if you have not already done so about how to count carbohydrates in her diet that come from other sources. A high-carbohydrate meal such as spaghetti can trigger an episode of hypoglycemia in some people without having any refined sugar in it.
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