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Hypoglycemia in Infancy

AMBULATORY CARE:

Hypoglycemia

is a condition that causes your infant's blood glucose (sugar) level to drop too low. When this happens, his or her brain cells and muscles do not have enough energy to work well. Glucose is needed to help an infant's brain grow normally. Hypoglycemia may be short-term or ongoing.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your infant has problems breathing.
  • Your infant has a seizure.

Call your infant's pediatrician if:

  • Your infant is sluggish (less alert than usual).
  • Your infant has side effects from his or her medicines.
  • Your infant is not eating well.
  • You have questions or concerns about your infant's condition or care.

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia

may be mild and not easily seen. Newborns may not have any symptoms at all. Your infant may have any of the following:

  • Breathing that stops for short periods of time
  • Blue or purple skin color
  • Low body temperature
  • Problems eating well
  • Seizures
  • Sluggish or drowsy behavior

Treatment

depends on the cause of your infant's hypoglycemia. Feed your infant often to help increase his or her glucose level. Your infant may also need to be given glucose through an IV at a hospital. An IV is a small tube placed in your infant's vein that is used to give him or her medicine or liquids. Some infants may also need to be fed a special diet. Infants with ongoing hypoglycemia may need medicine to manage the hypoglycemia. If medicine does not work, a small or large part of the pancreas may need to be removed. The pancreas is the organ that produces insulin.

Follow up with your infant's pediatrician as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Hypoglycemia in Infancy (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.