not diabetes...JUST hypoglycemia...Need help!!

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mommato6 posted on Fri, Dec 3 2010 2:27 AM

I realize this is a diabetes board, but my 17 yo ds was recently diagnosed with hypoglycemia.  After several frightening incidents, (confusion, blurred vision, fainting, trembling)  we took him to the dr.  The dr. told us that is is difficult to diagnose hypoglycemia because the patient must be experiencing an episode at the time of a blood draw  While he was asymptomatic a non-fasting blood glucose was taken.  The dr called me the next day and told me his blood sugar was indeed too low.  No other tests besides a basic metabolic panel and a CBC were done. 

I had been given a sheet of paper with restrictions on it -- no sugars including honey and molasses.  Whole grains.  Limited baked good and starches.  No fruit or fruit juice eaten alone.  No caffeine.  At first I thought this was wonderful, but it gives me no carb guideline whatsoever.  After two weeks or so of trying to feed ds and control this, we are still having small issues.  Today he had blurred vision again and headaches.  Sad  I am trying to be sure that his meals are high in protein and low in sugars. His carb intake was around 64-72 for lunch, maybe a tad lower.

He is thin and active.  I am beyond frustrated.  I have looked on the internet for help with his problem, but there is no good help.  I am attempting to try a more diabetic based diet (since this sounds similar to what the dr suggested)  using some guidelines from a friend with type 2.  But he is a teen and I know his requirements are different. I am a college educated person who has another child who has severe life threatening food allergies and learned how to help him thrive with alternative fats and proteins.  However, I really need more help than I am getting at this point!!

Can you recommend any resources that will help me out?  Should he have more testing done?  Should we speak with a dietitian and if so, how do I find a good one.  I am so frustrated that there are no good resources out there to help me.    It seems like many of the people I run into who have this are more "self-diagnosed" and tell me "I just make sure I always eat snacks."

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You need to realize that the best way to treat low blood sugar is to give the patient quick acting glucose (sugar), like orange or apple juice or glucose tablets.  You need to go to the diabetic section of your pharmacy and pick up several sleeves of glucose tablets for your son to take when he is experiencing low blood sugar symptoms.  He should also carry around some longer lasting carbs, like peanut butter crackers or something he likes that is easy to carry in a backpack or whatever he uses on a daily basis.  Thin, active kids burn calories very fast so he needs to have something available at any time.  Better if he eats fewer carbs every 2 to 3 hours, if possible.  Good luck with this and please keep posting if you need help.


"May the Force be with you!"

Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

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zrebiec replied on Fri, Dec 3 2010 10:13 AM

The critical issue here is an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor is right on target when he noted that it is difficult to diagnose without a measure of blood glucose levels at the moment when your son is experiencing these symptoms. Did you get a blood glucose meter so that you could check blood glucose levels when these symptoms are happening? The non-fasting blood glucose was reportedly low - do you know the glucose level?

John Zrebiec, MSW, CDE

Joslin Moderator 

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RobertIA replied on Sat, Dec 4 2010 12:12 AM

If you are interested in non-diabetic hypoglycemia, I would suggest reading the following .

If you would like more information please read my blog and check out the sites at the bottom of this blog - .

Type 2 (10/2003)   Lantus and Novalog   Now added Metformin      Retired


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Does he get low blood sugar at the same time each day.  does he get it after exersize.  is he taking medication. All of that may have the same effect. and is he eating 3 meals a day.

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Debbie replied on Mon, Dec 6 2010 2:43 PM

Sorry for the delay in replying to your post. I showed your posting to one of our pediatric endocrinologists and he suggested that you make an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist in your area.  He thinks that this is very important and will help answer some of your questions.  Good luck!


-Debbie Butler, LICSW, CDE

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