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Hello everyone, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes six years ago and I've been very good about my diet and exercise and for the most part I am managing my blood sugar levels well. However, once in a while I end up with hypoglycemia. It always seemed to me that hyperglycemia would be more serious than hypos because of the damage it does to the nervous system. Nevertheless, I'm constantly hearing beware the perils of severe hypoglycemia. Can anyone add to this and make it more clear to me as to why hypos are so bad. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

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Hi, There is a famed diabetologist known as Elliot Joslin who made a remark about the treatment of type 1s. He said and I quote "Ketoacidosis may kill a patient, but frequent hypoglycemic reactions will ruin him”. Hypos are still the most difficult problem faced by diabetics daily. If you have a lot of hypos this impacts the quality of life but when severe can cause seizures, coma and death. According to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), the largest ever study that looked at tight control in type 1s, type 1s have a 2 to 6 fold increase in the incidence of severe hypos. The majority of these severe hypos (43 percent) happened during sleep. A persons ability to wake up when hypo varies among diabetics and is often accompanied with weird dreams before walking. It is possible to be in a hypo for quite some time while sleeping. Since severe hypoglycemia can bring about seizures, the more seizures you encounter the more brain damage occurs. Going into coma brings about brain damage and of course death is final. Repeated severe hypoglycemia should be avoided at all times. Diabetics often encounter hypos but barring other medical conditions, you should be able to get that under control unless you just don't care.

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