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Hiya! I’m not a diabetic but my little sister is – she’s had it since she was 3. She’s not normally ill with it but the last few weeks she’s had loads of hypos. I understand what it means, and I know that when it happens she needs to have sugar and sweets and stuff but they really scare me. I’ve been told that if she doesn’t get sugar when she needs it that she could go into a coma and die which just scares me so much. Normally she comes out of them really quick, but how often does someone die from a hypo? Please tell me cos I worry so much about her.

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Hi! Firstly can I just say what a really caring, grown up thing it is to care and want to know about your sisters condition. Diabetes is a life long condition and can be really difficult, not just for the person who’s got it, but also for all the people who are around them, cos like you, they spend all their time worrying and asking ‘what if?’ questions. Your little sister is a really lucky girl!

Aside of that maybe I can try and put your mind at ease. So you understand what a hypo is – which is really good, and it can happen for various reasons. It can happen if your sister doesn’t have enough to eat, or she’s given too much insulin, or even if she’s just got a stomach bug and being ill. All these things can cause her medicine to have different effects.

To be straight with you, if people do have severe hypos they can go into a coma and die. But that is really, really uncommon and as you know so long as they get sugar in some shape or form they come around and are okay. There isn’t an absolute figure for people that die, but it is really uncommon. So care about your sister, but don’t worry about her. Carry her glucose tabs just in case, but just be aware. Thanks for taking an interest and caring.

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