(Neonatal Hypoglycemia; Pediatric Hypoglycemia)
Glucose is a type of sugar. It is the body’s main source of energy.
Hypoglycemia is when the level of glucose in the blood becomes too low. When blood glucose drops too low, the body does not have enough energy to function properly. Hypoglycemia in infants occurs in babies less than one year old.
The body can normally balance the amount of glucose in the blood. The body will release insulin to reduce high levels of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels drop too low, the body can release stored glucose. Hypoglycemia occurs when these factors are disrupted.
Situations that can lead to hypoglycemia include:
- Low fat and glucose stores—common in small for age or premature babies
- Conditions that increase the use of glucose such as fevers, seizure, or stress
- High levels of insulin
Newborns can also have hypoglycemia during the first 2 hours after birth. This is often a temporary situation. Your child’s body will adjust soon after birth.
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Factors that increase an infant’s risk of hypoglycemia due to low glucose stores include:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Situations that use high amounts of glucose such as perinatal stress, cold stress, infection, fever, respiratory distress, and seizures