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June 29, 2004

Exercise and Sports, Hypoglycemia

Question from Wichita, Kansas, USA:

My 14 year old daughter is in volleyball and track. During practice she says she sometimes gets dizzy, light headed, shaky, and, if she doesn’t eat at this time, she also starts to lose breath. Could this be hypoglycemia? It only happens when she is active and if she doesn’t eat very much at lunch. Her practices are after school when they are in season. Her father has hypoglycemia and a few of her aunts and uncles have diabetes. Could it run in the family? I just wanted to see if it could be hypoglycemia before I made her an appointment.


From: DTeam Staff

I am assuming that your daughter does not have diabetes, and that you are concerned about reactive hypoglycemia. The symptoms you described sound like the brain signaling the need for more glucose. It could be related to not eating enough prior to exercise (dizzy, light headedness). The shakiness could be related to the body�s release of adrenalin, which is a normal response to exercise.

It would be wise to have your physician evaluate your daughter�s symptoms.