Toddler Hypoglycemia- know the facts!

I spend my days making sure my children are safe and happy as I am sure you do too. However, in March 2014 my worst nightmare came true. It is something I will never forget, I was helpless.

toddler hypoglycemia

This is our story

Little G woke up and wasn’t quite herself. She got into bed with me and fell asleep, which she never does. Normally she badgers me until I get up and make her breakfast. Thinking she was a little under the weather I asked her if she would like to go back to bed. Off she trotted and I happily turned over to have a lie-in as Baby L was still asleep.

We were due to go out so after about an hour I thought best to wake her up and start the day. She was so drowsy so I carried her downstairs to get breakfast. While I was in the kitchen she fell asleep on the sofa and that is when alarm bells started to sound! I rang the doctor immediately for advice and he said to check her temperature. It was normal and so he said to take her to A+E immediately.

She perked up a little in the car but once Mr F dropped us at the door she passed out and I carried her lifeless body into the hospital.

As soon as we got into the hospital they checked her blood sugar- it was 1.6mmol/L which is dangerously low. Much lower she could have slipped into a coma which doesn’t bear thinking of. They immediately gave her some glucose solution and she perked up thank god! I honestly thought I was going to lose her, even now I get chills thinking about it.

hypoAt 5am after another glucose test.

Over the next 24 hours they prodded and poked her and she never made a sound. I am so incredibly proud of how she behaved and how brave she was. Could they find anything? No. Every blood sugar test came back as normal and they were stumped.

She had one more episode during the night by the time they had taken blood she was so hysterical (from them trying to find a vein) that her sugars had gone back up again- voiding the results. She was released the next day and we were told to bring her in if it ever happened again.

Now, I am a Google addict and not being happy with the okay from the hospital I set about doing my own research. Everything suggested that she has Toddler Hypoglycemia (also known as non-diabetic hypoglycemia). This condition is apparently common in toddlers starting between ages 18 months and 4 years and ending between 5 years and 9 years. These are the symptoms:

– Mood changes, irritability

– Constantly hungry

– Tiredness

– Disturbed sleep and frequent wakings

– Cold clammy skin

– Lack of concentration

There are more but these are the main ones. Little G started waking soon after her 2nd birthday. It would be at least once a night, calling out, clammy skin etc. She was always complaining of being tired and hungry and having terrible terrible tantrums. I just thought all of this was normal ‘terrible two’s’. You may well be sitting there thinking the same about your child.

Why did she have such a dramatic episode?

The night before it happened she had eaten her dinner and gone to play outside. It was a lovely evening and she had bounced on the trampoline until bedtime. I believe she had bounced and bounced, using up all of her energy. So, by the time she woke up she was totally drained.

So what do we do now?

Basically all I have to do is make sure she never goes more than 2-3 hours between meals, filling her with healthy snacks throughout the day. She also has a slice of toast before bed and that sees her through until the morning. Since we have been controlling her diet she has not woken up at night. Her tantrums are now down to a ‘normal’ level for a two year old and thankfully we have not had another episode.For more about how to spot signs of Toddler Hypoglycemia then I have listed them here. Maybe your toddler wakes frequently for no reason? Toast could be the answer.

Update: we have had a follow up appointment with the consultant at the hospital and they agreed with my diagnosis and have told me to continue with her new diet plan. If I hadn’t researched it I am not sure they would have had any answers for me. Trust your instincts, mummy knows best.

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Katy is a wife, mum of three and professional blogger. Her blog, What Katy Said, aims to inspire other mums to get organised and make the best out of every day.

23 Comments

    1. Only just seen your message Ciara!! Don’t know why I didn’t get an alert! It was an awful time, there have been a couple of relapses- when she is under the weather she doesn’t have much of an appetite and that causes problems. But otherwise we can manage it 🙂 xx

  1. Thank you for sharing.
    You are so right, mums always know best! I try and listen to my instincts above anything else and after reading this post I’m defiantly more inclined to.
    It must of been a horrible experience for you all, I cant begin to imagine how worried you must of been. Thank goodness for the internet and Google. I hope your post helps other children and parents . I’m so glad your little girl is ok, it amazes me what a difference little changes in their diet etc can make x

  2. Wow Katy how utterly terrifying and the thought of what could have been would send chills down my spine too! I’m really pleased you got your answers (thanks Dr. Google!) and you know what you’re up against now. Best of luck with controlling the condition and thanks for sharing to alert other mums x

  3. Gosh, that is so scary!!! Thank you for raising the awareness of it. I’m so glad your little girl is getting a follow up but it’s a shame you had to do your own research. Hopefully now they have a diagnosis you can manage her well xx

  4. This really sounds like my toddler. I’m torn between researching further but then potentially getting frustrated that I won’t be listened too, and carrying on as we are but with the niggle that something could be wrong.

    1. If it sounds like your toddler then don’t even worry about seeking medical help. I know that sounds odd but honestly there isn’t anything they can do – it is all down to diet and home management. Just make sure that as well as 3 healthy meals a day you give a snack at 10am, 2pm and just before bedtime. Those snacks are to be high carb high protein sorts rather than say fruit which is just sugar. We do things like toast, humus and breadsticks, babybels etc. Xx

  5. This is really interesting. P2 wakes in the night but has done since birth. She wakes crying but not really being awake if that makes sense.

  6. That is so terrifying! Amazing job and trusting your instincts every time here! It’s great that you see to have it under control now! Fingers crossed for no other terrifying episodes like that!

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