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January 1, 2000

Social Issues: School and Daycare, Stress

Question from a teacher in Wyoming, USA

How does stress affect children with diabetes? Does it have a part in sugar levels changing so rapidly? I need some information to better understand a student that has missed a lot of school days due to her fluctuating blood sugar levels. There are times at school that she has to stay in the health room for an hour or more to stabilize her blood sugar levels. I wondered if the frustration of school work would be a probable cause for stress and in turn cause the blood sugar levels to fluctuate.

ANSWER:

Stress may affect diabetes control, but mild stress should not interfere with school attendance. If a child with diabetes is missing a lot of school, then, after checking with the child's doctor, the usual approach to school absences should be undertaken. Counseling to help address the issues would be important. LM