Teens May Self-induce Diabetic Coma

APRIL 01, 2006

Patients with diabetes need to be aware that excess insulin can lower blood sugar levels too far, which can lead to a coma in severe cases. Although this is nearly always an accident, in rare occurrences it may be intentional. Paris researchers found that recurrent episodes of hypoglycemic coma among teens may be a warning of deliberate self-administration of large doses of insulin. The researchers investigated 322 cases of recurring hypoglycemic coma since 1990 in 149 adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

The study?s findings indicated 19 patients with a very unusual frequency of coma. Of these patients, 16 admitted to secret self-administration of insulin at the time of the event or several years later. Seven patients confessed to using insulin to deliberately induce coma. Of these patients, 5 had major familial difficulties. Another 5 adolescents injected secretive doses of insulin, apparently in reaction to parental pressure to lower blood sugar levels because of unreasonable fears of future blindness. The remaining 4 patients used surreptitious injections to hide periods in which they had skipped their usual injections. (The findings were reported in Diabetes Care, February 2006).



SHARE THIS SHARE THIS
0
 

In Seniors: Consider CMV Serostatus
When Recommending Flu Vaccine

Older people who have cytomegalovirus seem to have less robust responses to the trivalent influenza vaccine than those who do not have CMV.


 

 

Conference Coverage
News from the year's biggest meetings


Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs


 

SIGN UP FOR THE PHARMACY TIMES NEWSLETTER
Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.