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sugar occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the
blood rises above normal. It is also called hyperglycemia. If your child has
diabetes, high blood sugar may be caused by missing a dose of
diabetes medicine or insulin. It may also be caused by eating too much, skipping exercise, or being ill or stressed. Fast growth during the teen years can also
make it harder to keep your child's blood sugar levels in his or her target
blood sugar, high blood sugar usually happens slowly over hours or
days. But it can also happen quickly (in just a few hours) if your child eats a large
meal or misses an insulin dose.
Blood sugar levels above the target range may
make a person feel tired and thirsty. If your child's blood sugar level stays
higher than normal, his or her body will adjust to that level. If
your child's blood sugar keeps rising, the kidneys will make more urine and your child can get dehydrated. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening. Over time, high
blood sugar can damage the eyes, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves.
Watch for symptoms of high blood sugar. Symptoms include feeling very tired or thirsty and urinating more often than usual. As long as you or your child notices the symptoms, you
will probably have time to treat high blood sugar so that it doesn't become an
emergency. Three steps can help you prevent high blood sugar
Infections that aren't treated, such as urinary tract infections and skin infections, can raise your child's risk
of a high blood sugar emergency.
The best way to
prevent high blood sugar emergencies is to treat high blood sugar as soon as
your child has symptoms or when his or her blood sugar is well above
the target range (for example, 200 mg/dL or higher).
If your child's blood
sugar levels are above his or her target range, offer extra liquids. This helps to replace the
fluids lost through the kidneys. Water and sugar-free drinks are best. Avoid
caffeinated drinks, regular soda pop, fruit juice, and other liquids that
have a lot of sugar.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
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