Blood Sugar And Feelings

How easy is it for parents to guess their own child’s blood glucose levels? Is the child crabby because he is overtired or is it low blood glucose? Are the children themselves any more accurate in guessing their own levels?

Gonder-Frederick et al. examined the answers to these questions by asking 19 diabetic children and their parents to independently guess their own (child’s) blood glucose levels and record the presence of any diabetic symptoms present immediately before making a measurement of capillary blood glucose. Both parents and children tended to underestimate the actual blood glucose by a significant amount (18-36 mg) Children were particularly bad at identifying hypoglycemia.

The results are a grim reminder that feelings can lead to errors in judgement. Hard reliable data are needed to properly manage the diabetes patient.

Diabetes Care, July, 1991

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