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From Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA:

My son is 5 years old and has had diabetes for a year. He recently has had two ear infections about a month apart caused by separate head colds (ears cleared up in between). He has been on an antibiotic before, but it didn't clear up the first infection so they put him on another antibiotic. When he got the next ear infection, they put him on the second antibiotic right from the start. This caused a very bizarre reaction both times that he was on it. After several days on the antibiotic, he had severe hypoglycemic events. We cut back his insulin dose so it was approximately 1/2 his normal overall (about .25 units/kg). This barely kept him in range (he was in the 30's and 40's even though we were stuffing food in him like crazy). He did have loose stool the second time and it was checked for reducing sugars - the answer "some, but not a lot." The odd thing was that his activity was normal, and even when his stools had been normal for several days his insulin dose was still way down. It finally went back up to normal after a few more days. We are very concerned about this since he may need antibiotics in the future and handling the hypoglycemic events is very stressful. Have you ever heard anybody having a reaction like this?


It is very common to have to cut insulin doses in young children when they have viral infections - I suspect because of a combination of poor intake and poor absorption from the gut which is often affected by the virus. Addition of antibiotics is likely to make matters worse because many children get loose stools as a direct result and this worsens absorption of food.


Original posting 5 Apr 1998
Posted to Hypoglycemia and Other Illnesses


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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