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July 22, 2002

Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Scotland:

If a teenage child who is insulin dependent consumes large amounts of sugar over long periods of time, therefore reducing the effects of insulin in his body would this cause DKA?

Answer:

I don’t know if anyone has ever done a scientific experiment on this, but I am strongly of the opinion that sweet eating alone does not bring on DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. It has to be combined with inadequate insulin — usually missing injections and/or viral infections. Basically, lack of attention to detail is the issue.

KJR