Blood sugar in children is an issue that requires our special attention. As you may know, we all use glucose as an energy source for our bodies. We eat foods that contain different types of sugars, which our bodies then break down into glucose, and this glucose travels through the bloodstream to access the cells.
Both adults and children are prescribed “normal” and “abnormal” blood sugar levels to help ensure that the body is functioning well and a person is healthy. Want to know what normal blood sugar is in children, and what else important does it contain? So keep reading!
What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar is a value that measures the level of sugar or glucose in the blood. As we already mentioned, we humans eat sugar in many different forms with our food, and these more complex forms include fructose and sucrose.
Our body’s digestion helps convert these complex sugars into simpler substances like glucose. Glucose then travels through the bloodstream, where it circulates continuously until the cells absorb it for energy.
Glucose is therefore energy for our body. When cells take it from the blood, they convert it through a multi-stage chemical process, the citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle, into TCA, a molecule they use in their other physiological functions.
Glucose is thus an essential substance for the functioning of the human body. When there is too much glucose in the blood, it can be stored in the liver as glycogen. These extra funds are activated when the body needs extra glucose, for example when we exercise.
Why is it important to maintain proper blood sugar?
Because glucose is such an important substance for bodily functions, it is also important to monitor its levels in the blood so that it is not too much or too little. In this way, we can ensure that the body has glucose at its disposal to perform all its functions.
For children, this information is even more important because when they are still growing, they use more energy than adults. Maintaining normal blood sugar is important for a child’s proper physical and mental development.
For all people, blood sugar varies at different times of the day and under different conditions. For example, exercise, stress, or the foods we eat can affect its levels.
What is normal blood sugar in children?
Blood sugar or blood glucose is usually measured from a blood sample. This measurement can be taken several times during the same day to obtain different benchmarks, because as we just mentioned, the values throw at different times of the day and for different reasons.
Normally, blood sugar is first measured when a person has an empty stomach, i.e. after at least 8 hours of fasting. So this is best done right in the morning after waking up, before breakfast. This value is called the baseline, and this figure provides the most information about what a person’s blood sugar is, whether it is within normal limits, and whether action should be taken on the values.
Normal values in children are usually lower than normal values in adults. The normal values of children measured at different times are as follows:
- Baseline blood sugar (on an empty stomach): 70-110 g / dl
- Postprandial blood sugar (immediately after a meal): less than 130 g / dl
- Blood sugar 2 hours after a meal: less than 100 g / dl
Low blood sugar in children
Low blood sugar or glucose levels, also known as hypoglycemia, can be caused by low sugar intake or even malnutrition in a child. If a child has persistently low blood sugar, it can affect his or her physical and mental development. In addition, it can cause dizziness and fainting as his body requires more glucose.
High blood sugar in children
At certain times, blood sugar may be high, for example, after a child has eaten a high-sugar food. Another name for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. If a child has high blood sugar repeatedly, it may be a sign that the child’s diet and / or lifestyle is not healthy or in the right direction.
In other words, this may mean that the child is following a sedentary lifestyle or that his diet includes a lot of sugary foods, desserts, etc. High blood sugar in children may even mean that they have type 1 diabetes or its precursor. If diabetes is suspected, a doctor should be contacted immediately so that the child can undergo the necessary tests to confirm or rule out the disease.
What should we keep in mind?
In order for a child to develop properly, both physically and mentally, it is essential that his or her blood sugar is kept at an appropriate level. If you have any questions or concerns about your child and his or her blood sugar, contact your child’s doctor.