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May 4, 2000

Hypoglycemia

Question from Springdale, Arkansas, USA:

I have a 5 1/2 year-old daughter who I believe has hypoglycemia. I had it as a child and, according to my mother, she has many of the symptoms I had. She is tired and whiny all the time. She seems much worse when she eats sugar. She craves it and wants it all the time. I really try to keep her from eating much of it but it is so hard. I asked my doctor about it and he basically said "if you think she has it don't give her sugar." I want to know what I can do to find out if she does have hypoglycemia. I just feel like if I knew I would be more able to control it and tell people why I don't want her to have sugar.

Answer:

Hypoglycemia in children not being treated with insulin is quite unusual — however, not unheard of. It is important to know with certainty if she indeed has hypoglycemia. Your physician should be able to direct you to appropriate ways of testing to see if she has hypoglycemia. Don’t forget also that many of the symptoms you’ve described can also be quite normal for a 5 year old!

MSB