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From America OnLine:

My son is 23 and has had diabetes for 11 years. He presently takes Lente, long acting NPH, and covers his meals with Regular insulin. He lives away from home, was alone, got sick with a virus and went into ketoacidosis with a blood sugar of 600. He is presently in the hospital, has stabilized with blood glucose at normal levels, but has a short term memory loss for anything that has happened in the last week. It has been about 12 hours since his hospital admission and his attention and short term memory have not returned. The doctors have done a CAT scan looking for another cause of the memory deficit. The scan was within normal limits. What else should be done? Is this a common effect of acidosis? What is the outlook as far as return to normal function? Will there be residual effects?


Assuming there is no ongoing infection which could interfere with brain function, I suspect your son is exhibiting the after effects of some brain swelling which occurred during the episode of ketoacidosis.

If you are seeing continued improvement, there is a good chance that your son will not be left with any neurological problems. You might have to wait a while before you are certain that no further improvement will occur.

I assume there is no sign of active brain swelling now.

When your son hopefully is fully recovered, I suggest you make sure he work with his diabetes team to learn how to give extra insulin if necessary when he is sick to avoid ketoacidosis.


Original posting 10 Apr 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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