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Can You Die If You Have Low Blood Sugar?

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Diabetes And Seizures: What Are They? What Are The Symptoms?

Having a seizure is a very serious thing. It is dangerous for the person experiencing it, and it is also scary for those nearby. Seizures can be caused for several reasons. Some people have epilepsy, which is a disorder where seizures happen often. For those without epilepsy, they are often called “provoked seizures” because they were provoked, or brought on, by something reversible. Individuals with diabetes can experience these “provoked seizures” when their blood sugar drops too low. The following article explains the difference in these, how to prevent them, and how to care for someone that is having a diabetic seizure. The difference between epilepsy and seizures Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that happens because there is an electrical storm in the brain. People have recurrent seizures that involve loss of consciousness, convulsions, abnormal behavior, disruption of senses, or all of the above. Some have an “aura” before having a seizure and know when it is going to happen. Most causes of epilepsy are unknown, however they can be triggered by flickering light, loud noises, or physical stimulation. Treatment for this condition includes medications and sometimes die Continue reading >>

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  1. Ignoranceisnotbliss

    Originally Posted by MarkM
    What make you think this is the truth? The reality is that low blood sugar does not kill, even when large amounts of insulin have been injected. Suicide attempts using insulin are seldom successful. Nor is attemted murder using insulin. If death occurs, it is caused by something else. The only successful murder using insulin that I have heard of happened here in New Zealand. A doctor killed his bed-ridden wife with insulin, but he had to inject her every night with it for three weeks before she died ... I agree with Bsc and Mark in the sense that for all intents and purposes, this is a pre-diabetic and Type 2 thread generally dealing with those who have insulin resistance and who are not on insulin. In other words, no, the OP will likely NOT die from reactive hypoglycemia, as mentioned. Perhaps if someone has reactive hypoglycemia from a pancreatic tumour perhaps, or a severely dysfunctional phase 1 insulin response. But in general terms, no, the OP will NOT die. If you are a Type 2 diabetic (insulin resistant and intact alpha cell/glucagon response), don't take insulin or meds, etc. the risk of you having a severe fatal low is pretty much zero. ZERO. However, Mark is correct that even a mild hypo can trigger *another event*, such as a heart attack in those with coronary artery disease. This is why the elderly are often not kept in "tight control".
    However, it is not correct to state that hypos "do NOT kill". THAT is incorrect. In Type 1 diabetes, this happens. The cases you mention are all in people who don't have Type 1 diabetes, and thus have a counter regulatory system intact. If you research Pub Med, you will find lots of information about "dead in bed" syndrome, impaired alpha cell/glucagon function in Type 1 diabetics, cardiac arrhythmias, brain damage and comas associated with severe and prolonged hypoglycemia. It CAN kill, and anyone with any basic science and medical knowledge can deduce that. Many of us know someone who died after a hypo. In fact, I have been told that I went into cardiac arrest after a hypo seizure at age 10. While I'm hear to tell you about it, technically I did "die" and would have stayed that way if I was not in the hospital at the time.
    The brain runs on glucose and oxygen. No glucose, impaired brain function. Anything that deprives the brain from operating properly can cause breathing and heart rhythm to become erratic, and yes, cease. That is documented fact.
    However, since most diabetics are Type 2s and this generally speaking does not apply to them, these facts are often downplayed. Type 2s in general are not at risk for severe hypoglycemia, and doctors don't want Type 2s to be wary about insulin treatment. But we shouldn't minimize the issues faced by Type 1s or elderly Type 2s either.

  2. MarkM

    Originally Posted by meurtelken
    ... a male nurse in Belgium was convicted for the murder of 4 elderly in the nursery home where he worked. He injected lethal injections of insulin. ... These people were old and weak and the combination with the overdose (I don't know how many times he injected them) must have killed them. ... That is similar to the Norris case in the UK. It would be interesting to find out what dosages were used. Elderly people have weak hearts anyway, and they would be vulnerable to a severe insulin shock induced heart attack.
    I doubt that this would happen with youing people. I witnessed the aftermath of a suicide attempt that involved injecting over 600 units of fast acting insulin, and there was a very quick and complete recovery. Blood glucose was 0.8mmol/l (14mg/dl) when I tested it, which was 4-6 hours after all this insulin was injected. And if assistance hadn't been provide when it was, the suicide may have been successful. But it is extremely unlikely that an accidental hypo would have ths effect.

  3. jwags

    As a prediabetic or even a T 2, we really don't need to worry about hypos. I think highs or hypergylcemia is a much more dangerous thing than hypos. Some T 1's are hypounaware and can fall very low without symptoms, this could be dangerous but JMC is having signs when he hits 70 so he knows he is getting low and can eat a few carbs. I think there are lots of myths about diabetes. I think it is important to read and learn as much as you can about diabetes. I think the important thing is although you have to be aware of your diabetes you don't let it run your life. Never be afraid to exercise, drive a car, hike in the mountains or run a marathon. You need to learn how to live life. It sounds like your doctors are trying to figure out what is going on with you, please listen to them and relax and take a deep breath. You could be prediabetic for the rest of your life and never even develop full blown diabetes. If you keep worrying you will develop other problems.
    Just a thought, I know you are a young man in his late 20's. Do you drink alcohol? Diabetics need to watch alcohol consumption. When drinking the liver doesn't process any of the carbs you are eating. You could be low for many hours after, well into the next day. Usually this is more evident with insulin use but it could be a cause if you are drinking the night before. I have several kids your age and I know they all like to drink when they socialise.

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