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December 9, 2005

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Question from Cortez, Colorado, USA:

My stepson was admitted to the hospital during the Thanksgiving holiday because he was throwing up. The doctors said that he had "blood sugar poisoning." I would like to know what that is and how he may have gotten it.

Answer:

I am unfamiliar with the term “blood sugar poisoning.” While that may “sound” like it should be diabetes, healthcare people would typically be straight forward and simply state, “He has diabetes” if he did. They might state he had “high blood sugar.”

Do you think that they may have actually said “blood poisoning” (and not blood “sugar” poisoning)? I have heard this vague term used to describe an infection within the blood stream which can be quite serious, depending on the germ. The medical term for this is often “sepsis” or “septicemia”.

Why don’t you get clarification of the term and then inquire as to the primary care physician as to what the possible cause(s) might be? If this does turn out to really be diabetes mellitus, this web site can certainly help you more.

DS