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January 27, 2000

Hypoglycemia

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Question from Kettering, Ohio, USA:

I have been a Type 2 diabetic for 15 years. Last month my nephew developed Type�1 (he is 22 years old). While in the hospital they had a difficult time bring down his levels (655). He is back at college and at times his blood sugar has run in the 40s and 50s. I am very concerned and talked with him. When is it appropriate to go to the hospital with too low blood sugars? He is waiting for the college to refer him to an endocrinologist, so he has no medical support.

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

It sounds like he may be going through the honeymoon phase. He should consider reducing the insulin dose. He should consider being seen at the hospital whenever the hypo is severe enough that he may need more expert help. However, usually this is not necessary. It would be worthwhile talking over these issues with his doctor or diabetes team.

JS
Additional comments from Dr. Bill Quick:

If the college is looking for a problem to arise before making the referral, he already has one: low blood sugars can be life-threatening, and he should be referred promptly!

WWQ