Empirical evidence is suggestive of an increasing incidence of diabetes among children and the pediatric age group. Obesity, sedentary life style and genetic factors are considered responsible for the development of diabetes among children.
Hyperglycemia afflicts those who have diabetes. Various factors can trigger hyperglycemia, including certain foods, physical activity, non-diabetes medications, or inadequate glucose-lowering medicines.
Left untreated, hyperglycemia can become very severe and can lead to a host of complications calling for emergency care.
Causes Of High Blood Glucose
During the process of digestion, the body breaks down carbohydrates in to sugar molecules. One of these molecules is glucose, the chief source of energy for the body. Glucose gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream after you eat, however, it cannot enter the cells without the hormone insulin released by the pancreas.
When glucose levels in the blood increase, a signal is sent to the pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells and provide fuel to function optimally. If there is surplus glucose, it gets stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. This lowers the quantum of glucose in the bloodstream and prevents it from reaching dangerously high levels.
If you have diabetes, the effects of insulin are radically reduced on your body, either because the pancreas fails to synthesize sufficient insulin or because the body is resistant to insulin. Consequently, glucose builds up in the blood and may reach perilously high levels if not treated.
Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia In Children
Hyperglycemia will not produce any symptoms until the level of glucose in the blood is considerably high –more than 200 milligrams per deciliter or 11 millimoles per liter. Symptoms of hyperglycemia develop gradually over a period of several days or weeks.
Hyperglycemia is indicative of diabetes mellitus, which is a chronic metabolic disorder. The symptoms associated with hyperglycemia in children include the following:
- Increased thirst or polydipsia.
- Increased urination or polyuria.
- Flushed face with dry skin and dryness of the mouth.
- Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
- Fruity smelling breath develops when the state of hyperglycemia is neglected and left untreated. Ketones accumulate in the blood and the urine leading to ketoacidosis.
- Fatigue and complete exhaustion is another very significant symptom.
- Severe headache with blurred vision, drowsiness and lethargy are also observed in some patients.
- Rapid heart rate and deep and labored breathing may also be occasionally associated with the condition.
- In extreme cases, the patient may get disoriented and confused and could go in to a coma.
Managing Hyperglycemia In Children
Management is the only key to prevent grave complications. Early detection and prompt treatment are very crucial aspects of the treatment plan of diabetes mellitus.
- Adhere to your diabetes meal plan. If you are taking oral medication or insulin, it is very vital to be consistent about the timing as well as the quantity of your meals. Have small frequent meals every 2 to 3 hours.
- Keep a check on your blood sugar level. Careful monitoring is the only way to ensure that the serum glucose level stays within the target range.
- Talk to your health care provider before embarking up on physical activity. Exercising thrice a week is recommended. Adjust your medication according to your physical activity.