Tantrums & Low Blood Sugar: Type 1 Diabetes

Temper tantrums are normal in children, as we all know. It’s how young kids communicate.

But have you ever thought that there could be more to your kid’s tantrums, especially if he/she has diabetes?

The reality is that one of the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia in children is behavioral. And if your child has Type 1 diabetes, there’s a chance that his tantrums could be due to poor blood sugar control.

Can Low Blood Sugar Cause Tantrums in Kids?

Aside from all the physical effects that blood sugar levels can have on your child, they can also significantly affect his/her mood and behavior.

The brain requires glucose for fuel, which makes it very sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations. So, if glucose levels are low, it’s very likely that you’ll see this manifested in your child’s behavior.

Your kid may experience mood swings, become irritable, distracted, feel down, fall asleep unexpectedly, or cry easily. 

So, the next time you see a tantrum start to develop, look out for signs of hypoglycemia.

Just be aware that each child reacts differently to blood sugar fluctuations. In time you’ll learn to identify those changes in your own child and be able to predict episodes of hypoglycemia before they result in outbursts.

What Are the Signs of Hypoglycemia?

The symptoms of hypoglycemia can be different from child to child. They can include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Hunger
  • Seizure
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • A sudden change in attitude or behavior, such as crying or acting out in a tantrum.
  • Pale skin
  • Jerky movements
  • Clumsiness
  • Confusion
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Tingling sensations in the mouth
  • Confusion and nightmares on waking up

Before your child reaches a hypoglycemic state, there are warning symptoms that tell you blood sugar levels are dropping. For example, feeling strange sensations like hunger, weakness, headaches, exhaustion, shakiness, or dizziness. 

Your kid may also appear pale and sweating with an accelerated pulse rate. 

Install Gluroo from Apple App Store
Install Gluroo from Google Play Store

Low Blood Sugar Tantrums At School

If your child is old enough, hypoglycemic temper tantrums can occur at school. Because children spend about half of their waking time in school, dependable diabetes management during the school day is crucial.

Dealing with hypoglycemia-induced tantrums in a child with diabetes requires a team approach between parents, healthcare providers, and school staff. Here are a few steps that can be taken:

  • Create a care plan: Work with the child’s healthcare provider to create a care plan that outlines the child’s diabetes management and emergency procedures for hypoglycemia.
  • Educate school staff: Educate school staff on the symptoms of hypoglycemia, and how to recognize and respond to them.
  • Provide access to food: Make sure your child has access to snacks and drinks to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.
  • Store emergency supplies: Store emergency supplies, such as glucose gel or candy in the classroom or nurse’s office. Make sure your child knows how to access them.
  • Encourage communication: Encourage your kid to communicate with teachers and other staff if they feel their blood sugar is low, or if they need to eat or drink.
  • Train staff: Provide training for school staff on administering glucagon, an emergency treatment for severe hypoglycemia, if necessary.

Be aware that it’s important to maintain open communication between the school and the parents to ensure that your child’s needs are met and to avoid hypoglycemic episodes at school.

A great way to make sure your child’s teachers and caregivers have the proper tools and information to help your kid manage their diabetes at school is by using Gluroo.

Gluroo is a collaborative chat-based diabetes management app, that allows a whole team of caretakers (your Glucrew) to collab in managing your child’s diabetes. With Gluroo you or your child can log meals, exercises, insulin doses, and much more! It integrates with insulin pumps and CGMs so that everyone is aware of your child’s levels at all times. 

The app will also send out an alert when your child’s levels are off so that caregivers at school know immediately when to act.

What to do if Your Child with Type 1 Diabetes Is Having a Tantrum?

Dealing with temper tantrums caused by hypoglycemia in a child with diabetes can be challenging.

Here are a few steps a parent can take:

  • Recognize the signs: Be aware of the symptoms of hypoglycemia and recognize when a tantrum may be a result of low blood sugar.
  • Take action: Offer a quick source of sugar such as fruit juice, glucose gel, or candy to raise blood sugar levels. Recheck blood sugar levels every 15 minutes to ensure they are rising.
  • Remain calm: Try to remain calm and understanding, and explain to your child what is happening and how you are helping.
  • Seek help: If tantrums become frequent or severe, consider seeking help from a healthcare provider or reach out to your diabetes care team.
  • Plan ahead: Encourage your child to carry food and drinks, and plan for regular meals and snacks to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Warn the school: Make sure the school is aware of the signs of hypoglycemia and that you have a proper diabetes management plan in place there.

Keep in mind that your child’s symptoms, age, and overall health will affect how hypoglycemia should be managed. 

Also, it’s important to work closely with your child’s healthcare team to establish a treatment plan that minimizes the risk of hypoglycemic episodes and their impact on behavior and mood.

Gluroo Can Help You Keep an Eye on Your Child When You’re Not Around

Temper tantrums are a regular aspect of growing up, but they can often indicate less evident conditions like low blood sugar. 

In time you’ll know how to identify these hypoglycemia-induced mood swings before they turn into full-on outbursts. 

Just keep in mind how important it is to have a diabetes management plan well implemented at school. This way your child can have all the help they need when you’re not around.

And finally, don’t stress when you’re not around. Make sure you keep tabs on your child’s blood sugar control and any episodes of hypoglycemia with a diabetes management app like Gluroo. 

With it, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you can always know what’s happening and readily communicate with your child’s teachers when needed. 

You can download Gluroo today for free.

Install Gluroo from Apple App Store
Install Gluroo from Google Play Store

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