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July 21, 1999

Hypoglycemia

Question from Missouri, USA:

How low does your sugar have to be to go into a coma? I am a 10 year old male who has been diagnosed for 1 1/2 years.

Answer:

This is variable but the rate of fall of the blood sugar may have a part to play with rapid drops being more dangerous. There is no doubt that some people can have sugars around 1 mmol/L (18g/dL) and still be walking around while others will be unconscious. Much more important than this is that you should always act immediately if you feel that you may be hypo. In a perfect world you would always measure your blood before treating but in reality you shouldn’t do this if it will take more than a minute or two.

KJR