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[IP] Dr. Joe's e-news for 10/19/00

Everyone fears hypoglycemia.  It sure is an awful feeling.  I volunteered
for a test while I was in fellowship at UCSF that had me take enough
intravenous insulin to quickly bring my glucose down to 10 mg.  I was not a
happy camper.  Nothing was given to raise the glucose, it was supposed to
rise to normal without any help.

I lived through it.

The fear of death is very real for many people while using insulin.  I only
know of one death that resulted from a small child going through the same
testing that I did, but never during treatment for diabetes.

A patient a Yale University was recently told that you cannot die from
hypoglycemia while treating for diabetes.  This seems to be true.  I have
seen people in hypoglycemic coma for 12 to 24 hours and awaken without

Nor does there seem to be any detectable brain damage.  I know there are
studies that might tend to refute what I just said but my experience does
not support brain injury with hypoglycemia.

The body is pretty resilient.  The one young man who was hypoglycemic with
unmeasurable blood sugars for 12 hours, just graduated from college with an
extremely high grade point average.  I would try to avoid it, but it
probably will never hurt you.  Some old stories die hard.

Dr. Joe, the Diabetes Doctor

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