It has been predicted recently that cases of diabetes type 1 will double in children under the age of 5 and rise up to 70% in children under the age of 15. Doctors fear that despite modern methods of therapy, hypoglycemia remains a huge threat in these young patients. This is due to the fact that many children are incapable of managing their blood glucose levels, leading to an increased risk of hypoglycemia. Since children are not small adults, the ways in which blood glucose levels are controlled are different.
In the article published by Dr Tim Jones and Dr Trang Ly of the University of Western Australia in the latest issue of Diabetic Hypoglycemia, they discuss the physiologic and behavioral mechanisms underlying the difference in blood glucose control in adults and children and cover aspects of childhood hypoglycemia together with guidelines for treatment. The authors stress the importance of treating young patients differently to adults and maintain that correct treatment is vital to a proper recovery. Complimenting this article Professor Christopher Ryan of the editorial board, discusses the ethical and practical issues limiting studies of hypoglycemia in very young children with diabetes.