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From Scarsdale, New York, USA:

I have an 11 year old son with diabetes. Lately, when he has low blood sugars, he refuses to eat, and says he is not hungry. I have to go through a litany of foods to stimulate his interest. Of course, candy always works, but frequently we end up with a high blood sugar after this. Is there a minimum amount of sugar that will raise his blood sugar a given amount? Any suggestions?


You don't say how long your son has had diabetes but the problem you describe is common. If it's only an issue when he's hypo then don't worry if you have to give him candy. Generally about 20 grams of carbohydrate (as fast acting sugars) is enough to do the trick; then you can fortify this with something starchy when he feels better. You may find that he'll take liquid better than solids when he's low. In the UK, the standard therapy is Lucozade but I don't know if you have this in the States.


[Editor's comment: For my daughter Marissa, we have never used candy to treat hypoglycemia. From the beginning, we used glucose tablets or cake frosting in a tube. Our goal was to separate the medical treatment of hypoglycemia from desirable foods, such as candy. I always recommend that parents treat low blood sugars with glucose tablets or gel just for this reason. JSH]

Original posting 27 Apr 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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