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July 24, 1999

Hyperglycemia and DKA

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Question from North Carolina, USA:

My 17 year old son was diagnosed 5 years ago with Type 1 Diabetes. He was recently hospitalized in ketoacidosis. He was doing better with blood sugars, but now keeps his insulin and meter in his room and requests his privacy (before this he tested and gave his shots in the kitchen, unless friends were present). I went in his room yesterday and checked the meter. His 14 day average was 483 and he is only testing once a day. Any advice on how to end this spiral?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Your son was just hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis which likely occurred because he missed his insulin injection(s) or was sick and didn’t take extra insulin for the increased insulin needs from the illness. It sounds like things are still quite difficult, and that your son needs urgent help.

I would start with your son’s diabetes care provider. Is he followed in a center with a diabetes team? If so, work with the team to get the help for your son and family. If he is not followed by a diabetes team, work with your primary care provider and request to see a mental health counselor as well. If he is able to see diabetes specialists it would likely be helpful, as people that work with teens with diabetes have experience with the situation you describe.

LM