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October 2, 2001

Hyperglycemia and DKA, School and Daycare

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Question from Auburn, California, USA:

I am visiting home-school teacher of a 14 year old boy who has type 1 diabetes with blood sugars usually in mid 200s mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] but as high as 400 mg/dl [22.2 mmol/L] or more. He is reading at second grade level, and his abilities change each time I visit him. Could this boy’s lack of reading skills be caused by the hyperglycemia?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Children with type 1 diabetes should not require home-bound teaching, so I suspect there are other problems. Most of the data about learning difficulties are related to low blood sugar. Clearly with lows, the brain is not learning. There are fewer data about highs, but patients do say that when high they feel “fuzzy” when they are high.

LD