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Question:

From Florida, USA:

I am 20 years old and have been a diabetic since I was 10. I have had a few episodes in the past, but I got through it with the support of my family. A little more than a year ago I moved about 100 miles north from my family to go to college. The first night I was here I woke up with low blood sugar and nothing to eat in the house. I finally found a glucose tablet and managed to get to an all-night convenience store. Sad to say things have not gotten much better.

My blood sugar is regularly in the 4-500s, I constantly wake up with cotton-mouth, go to the bathroom about 5-6 times a night, and generally feel bad all day. I try to take extra insulin, but I am afraid to death that one time I will take to much and not wake up or have anyone around who can help me. I have talked to my doctor about a week or two hospital stay, but he seemed unconcerned and told me that unless it was an emergency my parent's insurance would not cover anything. I tried talking to my dad, but he just tells me that this is something I just have to do. I feel that all I need is a week or so of "good" time so I can basically "start over." I don't know if these feelings are common, but this feels to me to be something I can't start off by myself.

Answer:

It sounds like you may be chronically in mild diabetic ketoacidosis. If this is the case, it is an emergency and needs to be treated immediately. Check your urine for ketones and if the test is positive, call your doctor immediately. If he or she won't listen, then get yourself another doctor or head straight for the nearest emergency room.

It's obvious your treatment plan is in serious need of adjustment, and if your present doctor's unwilling or unable to help you, you'll need to find a diabetes team who can help you develop a better treatment plan for your circumstances.

SS

Original posting 10 Jan 98

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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