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March 7, 2004

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Question from Granger, Indiana, USA:

My 7 1/2 year old child is a type 1 diabetic. Her blood sugar numbers had been really good. We had pretty tight control. Then, this problem started. At first, it was just every other day or so. Now, it has been every day around 4 p.m. and three times yesterday. Our child gets very red in the face, in her cheeks, and gets very sweaty, so much so that her hair is completely wet and the back of her neck is wet. I call these episodes "hot flashes." These "hot flashes" usually occur about one half hour after a snack of about one carbohydrate. Usually, her blood sugar will have been in target range before the snack. She has the snack, the one half hour later she has the "hot flash" and then her blood sugar is around the same or 50-100 mg/dl [2.8-5.6 mmol/L] lower than prior to the snack. However, it is usually at or around the target range still. We are very worried about the frequency of these hot flashes and wonder what to do. I thought maybe it was her NPH dosage being too much, so I cut her NPH earlier this week. That hasn't seemed to help at all. Then, we thought maybe it was a food allergy or hormonal in some way. Any ideas? Has anyone ever seen this happening?

Answer:

What you are describing is quite rare and does not sound related to sugars at all. You should go and talk in some detail with your diabetes team so that they can try to problem solve.

SB