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Question:

From Baltimore, Maryland, USA:

A 33 year old German friend of mine with type 1 diabetes since age 10 died last week. He had frequent nocturnal hypoglycemic episodes from diagnosis until death, and it seemed that everything they all tried to do did not help him manage adequately. He wanted tight sugars because he wanted to avoid complications from high blood sugar. I was with him once when 30 minutes after eating he had a sugar of 30 mg/dl [1.7 mmol/L] and was still functioning but said he suspected it was low because he could feel it. He drank some orange juice and that was it, but he would have seizures and wake after them on other occasions.

He lived alone and his work did not call his parents until the third day he had missed work. An autopsy is being performed, but from everything I read here and elsewhere, there's not a big risk of death from hypoglycemic episodes. Why would my friend have died from it?

Answer:

With repeated episodes of severe hypoglycemia, it is possible that your friend had already damaged his central nervous system. It is also probable that he had reached a state of what is called hypoglycemia unawareness. In such a situation, it is certainly possible that another severe episode of hypoglycemia could have been fatal, especially since he was living alone.

DOB

DTQ-20021201213744
Original posting 17 Mar 2003
Posted to Hypoglycemia

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:42
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