This is what I can offer to this discussion: Below I have copied two articles from websites that discuss brain death and neural death as a result of a prolonged hypoglycemic incident. I could not find any empirical evidence suggesting that physical death as a direct result of hypoglycemia is possible (i.e. someone’s blood sugar went low, they went into a coma, they died) but I only spent 5 minutes on google just now looking.
John is somewhat correct in stating that at certain BG levels the liver dumps reserve deposits of sugar to help raise blood sugar, however, there is plenty of empirical evidence that mentions two things: 1) This is not always true for everyone (meaning you are playing Russian roulette with your health by depending on your liver which next time might decide not to release the sugar), 2) And much more importantly Studies have shown that when the liver releases this reserve glucose the glucose levels in your blood rise far to rapidly causing extensive neural and brain damage. Researchers have found that a gradual increase of glucose (from glucose I.V. drips, tablets, liquids, etc) are far safer for treating hypoglycemia.
Anna, I’m sorry but it appears to me that you don’t exactly understand how severe low blood sugar can be to you. There’s a very good chance that next time you have such an episode you won’t wake up from it at all. Being dead and being brain dead to some people is like comparing apples to motorcycles, to others it’s more like red apples to green apples. I was always told that the diabetic golden rule is “Hypoglycemia kills you now, Hyperglycemia kills you later.”
One final thing I’d like to say is that neither low nor high BG is a normal state for the body to be in. Healthy, non-diabetics do not have low or high BGs. While their BG fluctuates just like everyone elses it stays within normal parameters. Allowing your body to reach the point where it needs to take emergency measures to prevent damage (whatever damage that may be) is not safe or healthy. If it were as simple as “my BG is low, i’ll just pass out for a few minutes and wait for my liver to take care of it” we wouldn’t have the entire scientific community up our butts telling us what to look for and how to treat it before it gets worse.
Hypoglycemia, functional brain failure, and brain death
Philip E. Cryer
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
“Hypoglycemia, including iatrogenic hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, causes brain fuel deprivation that initially triggers a series of physiological and behavioral defenses but if unchecked results in functional brain failure that is typically corrected after the plasma glucose concentration is raised. Rarely, profound, and at least in primates prolonged, hypoglycemia causes brain death.”
New findings on hypoglycemic neuronal death
4. April 2007 11:04
Treatment with insulin revolutionized the life of individuals with diabetes. However, because insulin acts to lower blood glucose levels, it can cause hypoglycemia (low levels of glucose in the blood), which, if prolonged, can lead to brain injury and coma.
Although most brain defects can be corrected by restoring blood glucose levels to normal, extremely prolonged hypoglycemia can cause the death of neurons and irreversible brain damage.
Copied from: http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/04/04/23103.aspx
The TUdiabetes administration might want to come in and cover their behinds if people are going to be commenting here and making light of low BG.