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Amnesia and Low Blood Sugar
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Amnesia and Low Blood Sugar

My husband was found several miles from our home three weeks ago, with complete amnesia.  He as been diabetic for 12 years, and recently started with an insulin pump.  The pump has real helped in the management of his glucose levels, put when he was found his blood suger had droped to 32.  They are unsure what caused the amnesia, there was no signs of trama, just the low blood sugar and hypothermia from being outside in 45 degree weather for 12 hours.

Has anyone ever heard of this type of reation to low blood sugar?

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Avatar n tn
Yes, this is very common with severe hypoglycemia. One sort of blanks out and is fairly unaware of his surroundings while severely hypo, and it is normal to not remember what he did while low.  The reason is that the brain's primary fuel is glucose, and if hypoglycemic, the brain is not getting the glucose it needs to function properly. So in desperation, the brain starts shutting down functions that are not essential to survival, and the patient goes into sort of a haze, or sometimes is only partially aware of what is going on around him. While in this condition, he will not remember what happened, nor will he remember how he got to that point, for it can come on fairly unobtrusively.

The real danger in this situation is the unawareness of the hypoglycemia. I would heartily recommend that your husband wear a medic alert bracelet, and that he keep not just one, but TWO cans or boxes of juice in the glove compartment of the car. If he goes out for a walk, he needs to make sure he has this emergency juice with him, too. Much better to be safe than to be sorry. I am prone to hypoglycemia myself, and the best prevention I know of is to just be sure to test very often. I personally test glucose every 2-3 hours so I can catch and treat any lows before they become critical.  

Don't worry about the amnesia... this is normal under the low glucose condition, and common, and it does not mean that his brain has been permanently damaged in any way. It only means that his glucose was low enough that his brain could not function enough to be aware or to remember what was happening while low. As soon as the glucose levels come back up, the brain recovers its ability to do its normal job of thinking rationally and remembering. But he probably will never remember what happened during that time.

His control on the pump may be tight enough now that he may need to set up some hypo emergency safety nets like this. I wish both of you the very best.
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