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February 27, 2005

Hyperglycemia and DKA, Insulin Pumps

Question from Marysville, California, USA:

I am a type 1 diabetic and was recently released from the ICU from an unexplained DKA incident. I am on an insulin pump. I am once again having unexplained high sugars. I have checked my pump and supplies, but am not able to find something wrong. Medical tests haven't shown anything either. Are unexplained high blood sugars normal on a pump? Any suggestions?

Answer:

Unexplained high blood sugars are not normal. I would not accept them. The first question that arises is, is the pump malfunctioning? Second, what are your infusion sites like? Third, is your insulin okay and not degraded because of temperature or light exposure? Fourth, have you had any type of intercurrent illness? Fifth, is your diet appropriate? Sixth, are you recording your blood sugars ofen enough to give your physician the data they might need to make good clinical decisions? Seventh, are you exercising enough? These are the type of questions that have to be asked over and over again if you are having high, unexplained blood sugars. You will need the help of a qualified physician to troubleshoot this.

JTL