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Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease - Cause

Type 1 diabetes develops when your child's pancreas camera.gif stops producing enough insulin. Insulin lets blood sugar—also called glucose—enter the body's cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the amount of sugar in the blood rises above a safe level. As a result, your child experiences high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body and increases your child's risk of eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve diseases.

Experts do not know what causes type 1 diabetes. But the cause may involve family history and maybe environmental factors like diet or infections.

Causes of high blood sugar

  • Not getting enough insulin or eating more than usual
  • Experiencing emotional stress
  • Having an illness, such as the flu or an infection
  • Taking certain medicines that can raise blood sugar levels, such as medicines that reduce swelling and inflammation (corticosteroids) and growth hormone
  • Experiencing the dawn phenomenon or the Somogyi effect, which causes high blood sugar in the morning
  • Entering puberty. Hormonal changes affect how well the body uses insulin. These changes can cause higher blood sugar levels.
  • Pregnancy

Causes of low blood sugar

  • Taking too much insulin
  • Skipping or delaying a meal or snack
  • Being more physically active than usual without eating enough food
  • Taking certain medicines that may lower blood sugar levels, such as those that reduce fever and pain
  • Starting your menstrual period, because hormonal changes may affect how well insulin works
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 28, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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