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Hyperglycemia - infants

Alternative Names

High blood sugar - infants; High blood glucose level - infants

Definition

Hyperglycemia is abnormally high blood sugar. This article discusses hyperglycemia in infants.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

A healthy baby's body usually has very careful control of blood glucose levels. Insulin is the main hormone in the body that regulates glucose. Sick babies may have poor insulin function or low amounts, which causes poor control of the blood sugar.

There can be specific causes of ineffective or low insulin, such as infection, liver problems, hormone problems, and some medications. Rarely, babies may actually have diabetes, with low insulin levels that result in high blood sugars.

Symptoms

Babies with hyperglycemia often have no symptoms.

Sometimes, babies with high blood sugars will produce large amounts of urine and become dehydrated. High blood sugars may be a sign that the baby has added stress on the body due to problems such as an infection or heart failure.

Signs and tests

A blood test to check glucose (blood sugar) levels can be done at the bedside or in a laboratory.

Treatment

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

There are usually no long-term effects from high blood sugar unless the baby has diabetes.

Complications

Calling your health care provider

Prevention

References

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    Review Date: 11/2/2009

    Review By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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