Prevalence of hypoglycemia in diarrheal dehydration at hospitalization in severe acute malnutrition

Rameshwar Ninama, Chakshu Chaudhry, Rameshwar Lal Suman, Suresh Goyal, Ramprakash Prakash Bairwa, Sanjay Singla


Background: Diarrhea is the major cause of death in children below five years of age. Hypoglycemia has been a potential fatal complication of infectious diarrhea in both well-nourished and poorly nourished children. But prevalence of hypoglycemia in diarrheal dehydration is not exactly known. This study was done to evaluate the glycemic status in children having acute diarrhea with dehydration and specifically associated with severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted during July 2017 to December 2017 at Bal Chikitsalaya Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Blood glucose levels were assessed in 150 children of acute diarrhea with dehydration, comprising of 100 SAM and 50 Non SAM children.

Results: Average blood glucose of SAM children was 89 mg/dl and of non-SAM, it was 120 mg/dl. Average blood glucose was low in SAM as compared to non-SAM in both some dehydration (116.08±21.26) and severe dehydration (66.69±19.80) as well as with or without ORS intake. Overall 18 (12%) of children had hypoglycemia and all were in severe dehydration and not taking ORS. Blood glucose levels were statistically low in severe dehydration and those who were not taking ORS at the time of hospitalization (p = 0.001). In severe dehydration 25% of children had hypoglycemia means every fourth child had low blood glucose <54 mg/dl.

Conclusions: Overall prevalence of hypoglycemia is 12% in diarrheal dehydration and 20% in SAM with dehydration. Twenty five percent of severe dehydration children had hypoglycemia, and all have not started ORS. None of the child started ORS developed hypoglycaemia.


Dehydration, Diarrhea, Hypoglycemia, Oral rehydration solution, Severe acute malnutrition

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