It is true that blood glucose levels are influenced by many factors and many of them are beyond our control.
However, there are many things we can do to carry on an “active fight” against hypoglycemia. When you face daily, the chance to deal with a sugar drop, it is advisable to take into account some recommendations that might help prevent some frights! This is even more advisable in the case of families who have children who still cannot have an independent control of their disease.
1. Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Each person is different and their sugar drops too. However, the symptoms tend to repeat themselves, so we do not have to overlook them. My daughter, for example, tends to become nervous or to be hungry when she begins to be lower than recommended. When she drops a bit more, she becomes sleepy or glassy eyed… If you think for a nanosecond “Is he/she low?”, it is better to check.
Perhaps you wonder: What if my child does not show symptoms? I agree that many of our sugarbabies have asymptomatic hypoglycemia and this is an added problem. In these cases, it is better to carry frequent glycemic control in the early years… Prevention is better than cure!
2. Always carry food to treat hypoglycemia on you and… learn to treat them!
No matter if you just go out from home for five minutes or you are going “next door”. A person with risk of hypoglycemia should always have food nearby.
What do you take? No need to empty the pantry: a little fast-absorption (glucose sachets, juices, sugar sachets…) and a little slow-absorption (crackers, bread sticks…)
3. Avoid and foresee those situations with increased risk of hypoglycemia.
Everybody reacts differently with variables such as exercise, viruses, temperature, etc. Some people experience sugar rushes, other sugar drops. In the case of my daughter, almost everything causes drops. This means that we should frequently check her blood sugar.
It is true that we are not born with a manual of blood sugar control, but with time we realize that there are some situations which are more likely to end in a drop. These are the situations to be avoided or foreseen. That is: Do not skip meals, enforce feeding when exercising, control more often glycemia when ill, follow properly the medication guidelines you were given at the hospital, etc.
4. Report to the people who takes care of your child about his/her disease and show them what to do in case of hypoglycemia.
5. Teach your child from an early age.
Our sugarbabies should learn as soon as possible to recognize the symptoms that something is wrong. Besides that, they must learn to tell an adult as quickly as possible that they do not feel well.
There are many different ways to teach children, but from my point of view, what is the best is to learn through play, experimentation and stories.
6. Take care of feeding.
As I have already said, it is essential not to skip meals. Yet, it is also advisable to learn how each meal may influence our blood sugars and how long different types of carbohydrates may take to be absorbed.
It is not necessary to do a “masters degree” in nutrition and diet, but it is important to learn that there are foods that take longer to be absorbed than others: whole and white grains, green or ripe fruit, food combinations, etc.
It is also important to know that the inadvisable food such as candy, chocolate, sugary soft drinks, etc., it is even less advisable in our children. In particular, if there is not a good response to medication.
Yet, use your brain! If your child is below 70 mg/dl (3,89 mmol/L) do not give him/her slow-absorption food, because hypoglycemia may worsen as food makes effect.
7. Do not move when the sugar is down!
That is: no running, climbing, playing, swimming, walking, etc.
Hypoglycemia may be recovered while resting. It may prevent the situation from getting worse as whatever you have administered (sugar, juice, glucose, glucagon…) starts its effect.
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