Ketotic hypoglycemia is a situation where the level of blood sugar falls below the normal range following an extended fast. This condition normally influences children after infancy. It is the most usual form of hypoglycemia in children between 18 months to five years of age. This condition settles on its own by the time they reach adolescence. It is mainly associated with low tolerance for fasting, and most children outgrow this situation before they turn 8 to 9 years old. |
Causes: • Ketotic hypoglycemia, also known as 'accelerated starvation', that arises from an unknown cause in nature. In other words, its causes are not known with certainty. Fundamentally, children with this condition have a low endurance for fasting. • One possible cause is a flaw in gluconeogenesis, or production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources that mainly takes place in the liver. Another suspected cause is insufficient glycogen stores. • It is more general in children born small for their gestational age, and those who have a low BMI (body mass index). Therefore, it is assumed as decreased muscle mass could be the reason behind impaired glucose production or gluconeogenesis by the liver that finally directs to hypoglycemia. • It has been noticed that children born small for their gestational age, who develop transient neonatal hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, can later on evolve ketotic hypoglycemia as well. • Temporary neonatal hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia is described by an excessive production of insulin, and so it is suspected that a metabolic or endocrine problem may be associated with the problem in some patients. • It has been noticed that certain factors can trigger an episode of hypoglycemia. Some such momentous precipitating factors include: § Fasting for a lengthy period § Skipping dinner and eating too little, or low carbohydrate consumption the previous night § Illnesses like stomach flu or a viral infection
Signs and Symptoms Episodes of it mostly occur in the mornings, usually after a extended period of fasting. Some of the most general symptoms are:
• Sweating and pallor • Palpitations and anxiety • Confusion • Headaches • Lethargy and malaise • Unresponsiveness • A change in behavior • Visual disturbances • Slurred speech and dizziness • Convulsions and seizures • Abdominal discomfort • Nausea and vomiting • Fainting or loss of consciousness, seizures and convulsions, are the signs of severe hypoglycemia that calls for instant medical attention.
Diet should consist of healthy and nutritious foods. Foods with high fiber content, like whole grains, vegetables and fruits should be considered in their diet. Such type of food can assure the liberation of glucose at a slow and even pace, and thus, help sustain the level of blood glucose. If a hypoglycemic child has a low BMI, then along with nutritious foods, the physician may direct some nutritional supplements as well.
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