January 11, 2000
Question from Makati City, Philippines:
My 5 1/2 year old son was diagnosed almost 1 year ago. His blood sugar readings are still like a roller coaster — some days way high, some days low, not necessarily at the same times of the day. He takes a sliding scale of Humalog at breakfast and dinner, 10 units of Lente at breakfast, and 1/2 unit of NPH at bedtime. His diet is fairly consistent from day to day. What could be the explanation for such inconsistencies in readings?
There are many factors that affect blood sugar control including but not limited to activity level, food, and insulin dosing. Especially in a 5 year old, blood sugar readings can be quite variable. You invariably will have “high” days and some “low” days no matter how hard you work to control blood sugar levels. It is especially important to understand that this is part of having diabetes and not to get discouraged by those days. At this age, do your best to keep blood sugar in the range specified by your son’s diabetes team — and keep up the hard work! You’re not alone! Make sure you are involved with other parents of young children with diabetes — your diabetes team should be able to direct you to other resources that might be helpful.