Children, like adults, are affected by hypoglycemia. Whether children play, read, or sleep, their bodies and brains need glucose to ply them with the energy they need for it. Glucose is a vital source of energy for the cells in the body, and the blood carries it through the body. When the glucose levels in the blood drop very low, it's called hypoglycemia. Children, with their tender growing bodies, are sensitive; and such symptoms in them are easily noticeable if you know what they are. They can occur if the child is not eating proper timely meals, if the food they eat is lacking in carbohydrates, and if they are overly active with physical activity.
If one notices symptoms in children, it is best to check their blood sugar levels to know more. The disorder occurs when the blood glucose value is less than 40mg/dL (2.2 mmol/L). A mild condition, if not treated quickly, can lead to severe problems, which can affect the brain.
- Extreme Hunger: Children are bound to be affected by extreme hunger several times in the day. Sometimes, even after they eat a meal, they tend to ask for more snacks to eat, as their blood sugar levels are low, and the body requires the right amount of glucose to function well. When blood sugar levels drop, the body signals hunger. Make sure you give your child the right amount of healthy foods and not let him snack on junk food, as it only makes the blood sugar temporarily high before crashing back down and resulting into low energy levels.
- Rapid Heartbeat and Sweating: Sweating is one of the symptoms that usually occurs whilst the child sleeps. The bed sheets and your child's pajamas may be drenched in his sweat by morning. Rapid heartbeat is also one of the symptoms.
- Dizziness, Drowsiness, and Fatigue: Lowered levels of glucose affect the brain, as the brain needs glucose primarily for its proper functioning. Your child may complain of tiredness all the time even if he isn't too physically active. They can also begin to complain of blurred vision.
- Moodiness or Crankiness/Irritability: Hypoglycemic children get very moody and cranky all the time. They can get very irritable even with the slightest things, which they are usually able to handle well.
- Headache and Weakness: Since the body isn't able to get the energy it needs, the body becomes weak. They also grouch from time to time about having headaches.
- Tremors and Shakiness: Children experience tremors and uncontrollable shakiness.
- Ashen or Pale Skin: When blood sugar levels crash down, children lose color and look pale. Their skin looks a little sickly from an ashen color.
- Confusion: The inadequate blood sugar can result into your child feeling abnormally confused.
- Seizures/Convulsions: In extreme cases, when the blood sugar levels are dangerously low, children can go through seizures or convulsions, and they can faint or lose consciousness.
Its symptoms are also the same as above. This kind of disorder is when the child feels hungry only after a few hours of having eaten a meal. Excessive insulin is produced by the pancreas when it is "tricked" simple sugars and produces insulin for a meal, that is larger than what was eaten. The excess insulin makes the blood sugar levels drop below normal. Children start craving for sweets and may also feel nauseous.
Severe hypoglycemia can affect the young children's cognitive function. Eating processed and refined foods result into delayed hunger and can lead to nutritional deficiencies, causing this condition. So, avoid refined sugars and sugar in all its forms, starchy foods, especially when they are on an empty stomach. A high-fiber diet is great as it aids in digestion. Choose foods with a moderate or low glycemic index for your child to eat. The signs must be seen at the right time and treated immedialtly.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.