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Diabetes

Is Hypoglycemia Affected by Physical Activity

09/07/2011

Question:

15 year old active healthy teen girl, no medications, daily multi vitamin. When her activity levels increase - varsity high school sports - she gets shaky unable to stand, trembling, blurred vision, cold, disoriented and confused. Test have shown not diabetes, no insulinoma, insulin and glucogen levels normal. Blood sugar moves from high 50 to as high as 240 only during activity. Trying to see endocrinologist. Is hypoglycemia aggrevated by excercise and is an endocrinologist the right place to start? The family doctor recomends pediatric endocrinologist.

Answer:

Hypoglycemia can indeed be precipitated by or made worse by physical activity.  I certainly agree that a pediatric endocrinologist would be the proper consultant in this situation.  If you don't have access to a pediatric endocrinologist, then an endocrinologist for adults would also be reasonable at this age. 

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati