Friday, August 3, 2012

Low BG epiphany

If only that title referred to an epiphany I had during a low blood sugar...
I work on a mother / baby unit as a nurse now, and am learning all sorts of new tidbits and fun facts about mamas and babies.
At our hospital, any blood sugar over 45 for newborns is considered good or normal.  When babies have blood sugars lower than 45, you have to treat the low with formula, dextrose, breastmilk, etc.
The low symptoms for babies are generally much more subtle than those for most older kids and adults.  For babies, when low, they can get jittery, lethargic, cranky, startle more easily, and THEIR TEMPERATURES CAN DROP!!  This was the epiphany for me!  I tend to get sleepy and cold when I'm low (among some other symptoms here and there) - I just want to curl up under a blanket and take a nap.
For babies, if their temperature is running low, we bundle them up or put them under the warmers and then do another temperature check again in a bit.  If that second temperature is still on the low side despite these warming interventions, one thing we check is a heel stick blood sugar to see if that could be causing the lower temperature.


  1. After J's birth, his blood sugar dropped from 50 to 38(in the span of about 1.5 hours) and took formula & dextrose to get stabilised. Unfortunately, his temp then started dropping (although it only took a few hours to get the bg stable, it set off a low temp cascade) & he was in the NICU for 9 days because of it. (at 38.5 weeks & 7 lb 3 oz it shouldn't have been a "preemie" issue but the pediatrician said that sometimes diabetic babies need those final weeks to get their temp regulating systems in place).

  2. It's just odd,that the stuff they never tell you about ends up being the major issue sometimes.
    Lows I had expected...but not low temp.
    (I was a hormonal, weepy mess the entire time..and the only issue was his body temperature. I wish I could have spared him that) Happy & healthy now though..with no residual effects!