What Drives Blood Sugar Down Quickly in Little Kids?


Some things send kids’ blood sugars very low, very quickly. Here’s my recent experience; I’d love to hear yours. 

Yesterday, my five year old son, Sacha, and I played a game we hadn’t played  in a while –  he calls it “wrestling,” but others might call it “Fake Ultimate Fighting.”

The game goes like this: We get on the king sized parental bed, strike heroic poses, and  pretend to fight each other with hands, heads, legs, and feet. We make lots of blood curdling yells, and launch frequent fake kicks, feints, and punches, along with the occasional pillow swipe.

We’d stopped playing a while ago, because I kept getting hurt. It’s Sacha’s all-time favourite game, however, and I was pleasantly surprised last night to see that he’s become  better able to control his movements, and thus cause me less pain.     

This was right after dinner; his blood sugar had tested at 180 before eating pasta, and although he had a lot of insulin on board, I figured he’d be good for 20 minutes or so of Fake Ultimate Fighting before requiring a new blood sugar test.

I let myself be carried away, however, and we probably went for 25-30 minutes. Every time I tried to stop, he begged me to keep going, and I found it hard to say no. “Just a little bit more,” he kept saying. 

Luckily, our puppy had a very smelly accident, and I went to join my wife in cleaning it up. As we began to scurry about, Sacha began saying that he was very hungry. I knew he needed attention, but delayed for a minute or two. An electric fuse had suddenly blown, and we were trying to get the lights running again. 

By the time I got around to testing his blood sugar, he was 37…..we quickly treated with juice, and all was well a few moments later.

If the puppy hadn’t pooped inside the house, however, would he have gone even lower? Would he have gone into seizure? 37, after all, is really, really low; Sacha’s target is 120-180.

I’m trying to make a list of activities in my head that drive him low rapidly. Playing with the dog outside does it, we’ve found, and now, we know that Fake Ultimate Fighting is another major risk factor.

I’d love to hear from other diabetes parents. What makes your kids’ blood sugar go very low, very quickly?

PS: The day after, I ran an experiment. Sacha’s blood sugar was 288 in the evening after dinner; we played “Fake Ultimate Fighting” for 18 minutes, and then retested. 173! In 18 minutes, he’d dropped 115 points. Amazing.   


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9 years ago

Oh, by the way: how often do you measure your son’s BG? How much is “monitor closely”?

Michelle Sorensen
9 years ago
Reply to  Gunhild

We check 10-13 times a day. You?

9 years ago

Hi James, I just stumbled on your blog and my eyes watered! My son was 2 1/2 yo this July, when he was diagnosed. He got a pump within a month, but it is still SO very challenging to keep his BG within his target, and not get too low. The caregivers in his day care – and now kindergarten – have been terrific, though. We’re still on the phone with them on average once a day, especially when he has a cold or an ear infection. I suspect there are very specific challenges to counting carbs and dosing insulin… Read more »

Michelle Sorensen
9 years ago
Reply to  Gunhild

Hi Gunhild, I’m so happy you came across this blog. My son was diagnosed just a few months younger than yours, so I can well understand what you are going through. It is terribly hard to keep a little one’s BG in range – sometimes, it seems almost impossible. I agree; it is particularly hard in little ones. I do think it gets a bit easier as they get older, as there is a bit more room for error. Our son is almost 6 now, and while it is easier than when he was 2, it’s still a struggle. I… Read more »

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