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Re: [IP] Re: low blood sugar damage

I don't have any at the moment or the time to do the research, but one comment might add to this:

Generally "low" seems to mean something different to different people in different circumstances.  For instance, are you "low" at 79? 69? 59? (all numbers non-diabetics ocassionally hit, especially when you add the variability of meters and lab tests) or 39? 29?  And for how long -- since when we test we hit only a moment in time, not the whole range of the hypo.  In 1991 at UVA, the doctors mentioned memory loss and documented brain damage in people with sustained (20 minutes to several hours) of hypos below 40 (they were looking at people having severe
problems from gastroparesis).  I haven't looked for any of this stuff since about 1995, but you could probably find it in a med library search.

Those more ordinary diabetic lows that many of us seem to be refering to -- 10 minutes of being 45-65, for instance, or running 60-75 for 1/2 an hour may or may not cause some damage although the pregnancy information I was given when we were trying to get pregnant says that damage doesn't start for the mother until under 55.  I think the book The Diabetic Woman also mentions this.  One problem is that this may be a hard thing to measure or quantify since it is tough to recognize the difference in long term damage caused by these small lows or by long term highs
or by all the hundreds of other human things in our world that cause small amounts of brain cell damage.  To try to put it in perspective, loud noises damage your ears and brain receptors.  Some of those cells recuperate.  The small damage only starts to matter when enough of it accumulates to effect your hearing in ways you can notice or measure.  So, people might avoid loud machinery on a regular basis, but not too many people are going to stop vacuuming their house every once in a while.

I don't know if this adds anything, but I have the sense that we are all addressing different "lows".


Jen Woodall wrote:

> > Sometimes the proof is in what people have seen happen in thier own
> > families, with thier friends etc. I can tell you about numerous cases..
> > BTW, We are not textbook cases or even studies. Stuides only show so much
> > and they can be flawed.
> > Ginny
> OK, but none of those anecdotal cases has me convinced that low blood sugar definitely led to permanent brain damage.  How would the casual observer know??  How was causation established?  Studies may be flawed, but certainly no more so than someone simply observing a person having lows and then concluding that permanent brain damage has occurred.
> In terms of the insulin shock therapy of old, as described by Michael, that does seem more like evidence.  However, I wouldn't necessarily equate shock intentionally induced with massive quantities of insulin in non-diabetic people with occasional insulin reactions (not involving seizures or unconsciousness) in diabetic people.  I need to know how the risk relates to my life, and horror stories about shock therapy don't help with that.
> Don't get me wrong--I'm not denying that permanent damage can result from low blood sugar.  If it can, I certainly want to know about it in order to plan my treatment more wisely.  But none of the data supplied here so far has convinced me that it does occur and at what thresholds.  And, despite extensive reading, participation in the DCCT and EDIC studies at a university research center, and 13 years with Type I diabetes, I have never heard of this.  I think we need to be careful here about passing on information that is undocumented and possibly unfounded.
> I would truly appreciate documented, factual feedback on this issue.
> Jen
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