Diabetes complications

Transient hypoglycemia in newborns: causes and treatment

Oxygen and glucose are the main sources of life for the body. After hyperbilirubinemia, hypoglycemia of the newborn is considered the second factor requiring a long stay of the baby in the hospital after birth. A child with such a diagnosis requires a detailed examination, since many diseases can be accompanied by hypoglycemia.

And the very low blood sugar level of a newborn and a child of the first year of life is considered to be a very dangerous condition for health. It significantly impairs the nutrition of the brain and all tissues.

Transient (transient) hypoglycemia of the neonatal period

When a baby is born, it is under great stress. During contractions and at the time the child passes through the birth canal of the mother, glucose is released from glycogen in the liver, and the blood sugar level in children is disturbed.

This is necessary to prevent damage to the baby’s brain tissue. If the child has low glucose reserves, transient hypoglycemia develops in his body.

This condition does not last long, because due to the mechanisms of self-regulation of the level of glucose in the blood, its concentration quickly returns to normal.

Important! Breastfeeding babies need to start as early as possible. This will quickly overcome the hypoglycemia that occurred during and after childbirth.

Often this condition may develop due to the negligence of medical personnel (hypothermia), this is especially true for premature or very small children. When hypothermia hypoglycemia may occur in a strong baby.


Full-term healthy children have large stores of glycogen in the liver. He easily allows the baby to cope with the stresses associated with birth. But if the intrauterine development of the fetus proceeded with any abnormalities, hypoglycemia in such a child lasts much longer and requires additional correction with the use of drugs (glucose injection).

Prolonged hypoglycemia primarily develops in premature babies with small weight and in post-term babies. As a rule, this group of newborns has low reserves of protein, adipose tissue and hepatic glycogen. In addition, due to the lack of enzymes in these children, the mechanism of glycogenolysis (glycogen disintegration) is noticeably reduced. Those stocks that were received from the mother, quickly spent.

Important! Special attention is paid to those children who are born to women with diabetes. Usually these babies are very large, and the concentration of glucose in their blood decreases very quickly. This is due to hyperinsulinemia.

The same problems are experienced by newborns born in the presence of Rh-conflict. It turns out that with complicated types of serological conflict, hyperplasia of pancreatic cells can develop, which produces the hormone insulin. As a result, tissues absorb glucose much faster.

Note! Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy leads to a decrease in blood glucose! And not only active, but also passive smokers suffer!


The condition of the newborn is assessed on the Apgar scale. This is how the degree of hypoxia of a child is determined. First of all, children suffer from hypoglycemia, whose birth was swift and accompanied by great blood loss.

Hypoglycemic condition develops in children with heart rhythm disorders. It is also facilitated by the use of certain drugs by the mother during pregnancy.

Other causes of transient hypoglycemia

Transient hypoglycemia is very often caused by various infections. Any type of it (pathogen does not matter) leads to hypoglycemia. This is due to the fact that a large amount of energy is spent on the fight against infection. And, as you know, the source of energy is glucose. The severity of neonatal hypoglycemic symptoms depends on the severity of the underlying disease.

Another large group consists of newborns who have congenital heart defects and blood circulation. In such a situation, hypoglycemia provokes poor circulation in the liver and hypoxia. The need for insulin injections disappears in any of the listed cases, subject to the timely elimination of violations of the secondary:

  • circulatory failure;
  • anemia;
  • hypoxia.

Persistent hypoglycemia

During many diseases in the body there is a violation of the metabolic processes. There are such situations in which there are irreversible defects that impede the normal development of the baby and endanger his life.

After a thorough examination of these children, an appropriate diet and medical treatment are selected. Kids suffering from congenital galactosemia, its manifestations feel from the first days of life.

A little later, children develop fructosemia. This is due to the fact that fructose is found in many vegetables, honey, juices, and these products are introduced into the diet of the child much later. The presence of both diseases requires a lifelong adherence to a strict diet.

The development of hypoglycemia can trigger some hormonal disorders. In the first place in this regard is the failure of the pituitary and adrenal glands. In this situation, the child is under the supervision of an endocrinologist all the time.

Symptoms of these pathologies can manifest themselves both in the newborn and at a later age. With the growth of pancreatic cells, the amount of insulin increases and, accordingly, the concentration of glucose in the blood decreases.

It is impossible to correct this condition by traditional methods. The effect can be achieved only with surgery.

Hypoglycemia and its symptoms

  1. Rapid breathing.
  2. Sense of anxiety.
  3. Excessive excitability.
  4. Tremor of the limbs.
  5. Insatiable feeling of hunger.
  6. Convulsive syndrome.
  7. Violation of breathing until it stops completely.
  8. Lethargy.
  9. Muscle weakness
  10. Drowsiness.

For a child, cramps and breathing problems are most dangerous.

Important! There is no clear glucose level at which symptoms of hypoglycemia can be seen! This feature is just born children and babies! Even with enough glycogen, these children may develop hypoglycemia!

Most often hypoglycemia is fixed in the first day of the baby's life.

Diagnosis of the disease

The following tests are taken from children in the first year of life and newborns to diagnose acute or prolonged hypoglycemia:

  • blood glucose concentration;
  • free fatty acids;
  • determination of insulin levels;
  • determining the level of growth hormone (cortisol);
  • the number of ketone bodies.

If a child is at risk, research is done in the first 2 hours of his life. Based on these indicators, the nature and degree of neonatal hypoglycemia is determined, which makes it possible to prescribe an adequate treatment for the baby.

Who is at risk

Hypoglycemia can occur in any child, but there is still a certain risk group that includes children:

  1. immature gestational age;
  2. premature
  3. with signs of hypoxia;
  4. born to mothers with diabetes.

So newborn blood sugar levels are determined immediately after birth (within 1 hour of life).

It is very important to quickly identify hypoglycemia in the newborn, because timely treatment and prevention will protect the baby from the development of serious complications of this condition.


The focus should be on adhering to the principles of perinatal development. It is necessary to start breastfeeding as soon as possible, to prevent the development of hypoxia, to prevent hypothermia.

First of all, when neonatal hypoglycemia, pediatricians inject intravenously 5% glucose solution. If the baby is already more than a day, apply 10% glucose solution. After this, control tests of blood taken from the heel of the newborn directly to the test strip are performed.

In addition, the child is given a drink in the form of a glucose solution or added to the milk mixture. If these procedures do not bring the desired effect, apply hormone treatment with glucocorticoids. It is equally important to identify the cause of hypoglycemia, this makes it possible to find effective methods for its elimination.

Watch the video: Neonatal Hypoglycemia (January 2020).