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June 20, 2000

Hypoglycemia

Question from Washington, USA:

Our 12 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes three months ago. His glucose readings range mostly from 60 to 160, and recently his first A1C was 6.5. He is constantly having trouble concentrating; also, he is tired, weak, and frequently states that he is exhausted. He tells us that he "can't think," or that he "can't concentrate." We know that he is going low, but these symptoms are not directly associated with when he has low's. Before being diagnosed, his energy level and concentration abilities were much better. Many of the symptoms that he is now complaining of are the same symptoms that he had leading up to his diagnosis. Is it common for a child with diabetes to have these traits? His primary pediatrician isn't too concerned at this point. Is this something that he is just going through, something that we should just watch, or should we be more concerned?

Answer:

There are a variety of symptoms of low blood sugars including feeling weak, tired, anxious, sweaty and shaking. To learn more about low blood sugars, I would check out the discussion of hypoglycemia at this website.

The first few months with diabetes can also be quite stressful and you might also seek some help from a good counselor that your diabetes team (or pediatrician) can recommend. Sometimes early intervention is much more successful than waiting until a much bigger problem develops. Adolescents have a whole variety of issues they are dealing with that can be overwhelming after a new diagnosis of diabetes.

MSB