Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
May 24, 2003
Hyperglycemia and DKA
Question from Dryden, Michigan, USA:
My husband who has been drinking is neglecting to take his insulin. I just learned that he ran out of insulin this morning and has not ordered his prescription that the doctor gave him several weeks ago. I asked him to at least take his blood sugar. It was 495 mg/dl [27.5 mmol/L], and I am afraid he will go into a coma. I plan on calling his doctor first thing tomorrow morning. Should I take him to the hospital? He has been very grouchy. Help!
You should contact the doctor’s after-hours number now, and arrange to have his insulin ready to pick up at a nearby pharmacy tonight — do not wait till tomorrow. And he should see a medical professional as soon as possible. This means in days, not weeks or months.
If he is unable to take fluids (non-alcoholic!) by mouth, or is nauseated or has vomiting, he must be seen immediately in an emergency room, as it would be likely that he would develop a potentially life-threatening complication called DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). Although it’s less likely to occur in people with type 2 diabetes than in people with type 1 diabetes, it can happen.