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November 22, 1999

Hypoglycemia, Social Issues: School and Daycare

Question from Fort Morgan, Colorado, USA:

I have a diabetic student who I think is playing games with me. He eats junk food constantly. Whenever he gets in trouble for something, he acts like he is having breathing problems and says he needs another snack because he is low. Is it possible that Juicy Juice and Fruit Gushers, Capri Sun, cheese and crackers are part of the constant eating during school time? Today, besides lunch, he had approximately 6 snacks. Am I wrong to think he is playing games with me?

Answer:

I would recommend speaking to the student’s family and health care provider. In general, a child with diabetes should eat in a healthy fashion. Limited and planned amounts of “junk” are fine. When the child has hypoglycemia, it can be verified with a blood glucose check. If low, then 15 grams of carbohydrate (or whatever the clinician has recommended) should be consumed. If lows at school are happening so frequently that a lot of extra carbohydrate is required, then the diabetes plan needs to be adjusted (insulin, food amounts or food timing, etc.) to try to prevent frequent hypoglycemia.

LM