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Hypoglycemia in Infancy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is hypoglycemia?

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.

What increases my infant's risk for short-term hypoglycemia?

What causes ongoing hypoglycemia?

What are the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia?

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

How is hypoglycemia diagnosed?

Your infant's pediatrician will ask about your infant's symptoms and examine him or her. The pediatrician may ask about the amount of time between your infant's last meal and the start of his or her symptoms. Tell the pediatrician if any other children in your family have a history of hypoglycemia. Your infant may need any of the following:

How is hypoglycemia treated?

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.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

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

When should I call my infant's pediatrician?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your infant's care. Learn about your infant's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your infant's pediatrician to decide what care you want for your infant. 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.

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Treatment options

Symptoms and treatments

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