Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

My husband was newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he went into diabetic coma with a blood glucose level of 925. We are so lucky that he is alive. The diabetic specialist said that he has never seen a patient in his entire career with a level so dangerously high. I was wondering if you know of any such severe cases. It took his blood sugar level to reach such a high level before we recognized any of the symptoms of hyperglycemia. Does this mean that his normal range is higher than most people?

A:

Hoping your husband is now getting into a manageable range, this was a dangerously high blood sugar. I have seen a few higher, but it is not the norm. The ones over 1000 are often HHNK; a non-ketotic blood sugar seen in more elderly type 2's. In your husband's case, did he experience frequent thirst, urination and weight loss prior to his hospitalization and diagnosis? It is not usual to never have any type of symptoms before such a high elevation. This does not mean he will be "doomed" to an uncontrollable level. It does sound as though you're in the hands of a specialist. With the availability of better basal insulins and pumps, good blood sugars are more achievable. Remember for both of you to patient with yourselves while you strive to understand and work with this disease; it will take some trial and error.

Get Our Newsletter

Accountability