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[IP] How long does one live without insulin before your numbers is up
Jen asks:I have another question, based on this experience. (Please answer
only if you
have some scientific/medical knowledge of the answer.) How long can a
live without insulin? Obviously there are lots of variables here. But say my
pump stopped working, and I had no way to get insulin into my body, or the
insulin wasn't working, or whatever. How much time are we talking about
lapse into a coma?
Coma only occurs if you are really spilling ketones in the urine. A black
Ketostik pad. You would have the ketone symphony playing in your bod,
nausea, hedache, the runs, aversioon to food, pounding in your head. You
would know it. Extreme thirst, you feel you would even drink your own
urine, a dirty pond looks like a drink you would enjoy etc.etc. If you
could hydrate yourself enough you would be ok for a few hours, depending on
how fast your body breaks down liver glycogen ou'd be back in the same mess
within hours. If you ate no carbs you might be ok until the next day but
within two days you would be so dried out you'd die from kidney and heart
failure. The length of time depends on how fast your body can clear the
ketones rom the blood and the acidosis. Your state of hydration, and if you
have any "base excess" prior to the onset of symptoms. I'd also add in how
much water, and bicarbonate solution you could force yourself to drink.
when you get DKA you just dont want to put anything in your mouth. After
two days like this you'd probably be dead or as good as dead. As long as
your set stays in you can give insulin by pushing on the reservoir plunger.
It's hard to say. I've seen diabetic kids get really deep into DKA and am
amazed how dramatic the reversal produced by a shot of regular insulin is.
IV fluids are aso very helpfult as well. I do not recommend trying to see
what happens. if you go off insulin death may occur before you get DKA.
Spot and Christine
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