high sugar and lack of air

angry diabetic
By angry diabetic Latest Reply 2012-10-07 07:53:24 -0500
Started 2012-10-01 03:29:16 -0500

Hi there, i have a question about my health. I am a Type 1 diabetic of 8 years. I am 29 years old. I used to be a diabulimic, and ended up in ICU for 2 weeks when my organs started failing, starting with my lungs, because of advanced stage of Diabetic Ketoacidosis. I am in a much better state of mind since then, and an all round healthier person. Sometimes though, i do still get bouts of depression and just frustration i suppose, and i skip a few injections.. In some way it makes me feel better to be "boycotting diabetes".. Sort of like, "i'll show you Diabetes!!!", if you know what i mean.. Lately though, i have noticed that when i do these stupid things and my sugar reaches approx 500, i battle to get air. My chest closes up.. I would like to know, is this happening for a medical reason because my sugar is high at the time, or am i just panicking and causing my chest to close up because my sugar is high? When i inject and my sugar returns to normal i can breath perfectly again.. Does anyone have any insite on this subject? xxx

29 replies

Set apart
Set apart 2012-10-07 07:53:24 -0500 Report

Hi Angry Diabetic, gotta share with you that when I was first diagnosed my Dr. Told me "this is only disease that you can control" taking that to heart I researched about carbs refined and everything I needed to know. I have always exercised, but I made sure it was happening every day at least 5 times a week! Not taking care of yourself will allow D to control you; therefore, you won't be in control! So in fighting D you actually are allowing it to take control because when your BG levels are this high you can face complications later on! So if you are angry then be proactive in controlling your D, because it is YOURS and belongs to YOU! We care and this is why we all don't want D to win!

Type1Lou 2012-10-06 13:05:45 -0500 Report

Diabetic KetoAcidosis (DKA) may cause difficulty with your breathing. Back in 1980 at age 31, one of the symptoms I had of DKA was an inability to get enough air in my lungs. I had been on a skiing trip and come down with a cold. After going to the ER,I was admitted and spent several days in ICU due to DKA. This was my only hospitalization with DKA. You are not doing yourself any favors and may cause irreparable harm to yourself by "boycotting" your diabetes…it is not going to go away.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-04 12:26:49 -0500 Report

I have been reading the post and there are very good responses here. My question to you is why are you angry with yourself? When you boycott with the mind set of "i'll show you Diabetes!!!", you are only hurting yourself.

You stated in another post "unfortunately i lie to my doctors and see them as the enemy.. i can't get out of the bad head space i am in, and the only time i am good is when i "forget" about my diabetes and just pretend i am normal.." your doctors are not your enemies, you are your own enemy. Lying to your doctors and not communicating with them isn't helping the problem. What happens when you can't get air and there is no one to take you to the hospital?

Until you come to terms with being diabetic and start taking proper care of yourself, you are going to continue down this dangerous road. What happens the you lose a limb, or your organs shut down? Diabetes will cause your death if you don't take care of it. Diabetes isn't the problem. The problem is your anger at being diabetic. I am diabetic and I am as normal as the next person. I have not gotten angry nor asked why me. It happened to me. Diabetes does not control me or my life, I control diabetes. Yes I had to make changes and the advantage I see to being diabetic is that it has taught me to become a healthier eater. Something I never was prior to becoming diabetic.

At 29, you have your whole life in front of you. You can do what ever you want to do in life. The thing is you won't be able to do it while carrying the weight of anger around with you. You have to talk to your doctor about your air problem and listen to what he/she has to say. You also should ask your doctor about therapy if you aren't already seeking this type of professional help.

Life is too short for you to be in this box. Please find a way to get out of it and enjoy what time you have on earth. Once you free yourself of this anger and all the problems it causes it will be a life changing event for the positive. Please take care of yourself. Best of luck to you and I hope this problem finds a way out of your life.

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-10-04 00:38:26 -0500 Report


Well, “Angry Diabetic” first I think I’ll help you address the “anger” part before moving to the solution. Ask yourself why are you angry? I assume because you have diabetes. You can see the cup half empty and it’s totally your call.

I see your cup as half full for several reasons. First, you are only 29 years old and you have a whole life ahead of you. You have survived a total organ shut down due to ketoacidosis because of your young age. The second reason you should see your cup half full is because you have diabetes and diabetes is totally treatable and controllable and you can expect a normal lifespan and a great quality of life.

There are numerous diseases that affect millions of people worldwide that don’t have adequate treatment and the lifespan of those affected with them are shortened tremendously. Other millions of people are affected with diseases that don’t have predictable courses and can’t be even controlled with medications and their lives are under constant daily threat. As a result they suffer and struggle daily with their ailments.

You have Type 1 Diabetes and Insulin is your treatment which will control your blood sugar and make it return to normal when you couple it with favorable lifestyle choices. The last thing you want to do is skip on insulin shots because with such actions you don’t get back at diabetes but rather you make diabetes complications win over you and destroy your precious organs.

When you skip injecting insulin you blood glucose (sugar) goes real high in your blood depriving your muscle cells of glucose. Glucose is the first energy system needed for the function of every organ and cell in your body including your lungs. When glucose is in short supply to your organs then to compensate, your fat starts to be broken down into chemicals called ketone to replace glucose for energy.

But ketones or ketone bodies are not efficient energy materials like glucose. Moreover, with the sharp rise of sugar in your blood messes up the acid balance in your blood and causes acid to rise. This acidic state along with the presence of ketone bodies in your bodies cause all your body organs including your brain, lungs (causing shortness of breath), kidneys and others to shut down and stop functioning properly. That condition is called Ketoacidosis. Yes, Ketoacidosis will affect your breathing and causes you to have shortness of breath.

Now that you understand what’s going on in your body when you skip injecting insulin, do you still want to continue with the choices that get you to brush up with disaster. Now, that you know that you are actually lucky that you live in an era where insulin is available to treat your diabetes, do you think you can feel more positive and see that actually the cup is more than half full?

This is totally up to you to make that change and start making favorable choices. I would also invite you to look into changing your nickname to “Lucky Diabetic”? I hope I was helpful.

erinray 2012-10-03 12:02:52 -0500 Report

Shout out to my fellow diabulimic ! Your story sounds very similar to mine! And yes when my sugar is high it is very hard for me To breathe. When I was in HS I went into dka and was in a coma for 5 days and what made me go to the ER was the fact that I just could Not breathe !!! It is very hard VERY hard to stop missing injections/ignoring diabetes/Lyig to the dr. What you need to do is find an endo that you can trust and just lay it all out. Depression is huge in diabetics which ties into the whole diabulimic issue. I was put on Celexa and life's been slightly easier since then. Talk to them about a pump much easier than injections

roshy 2012-10-01 15:56:12 -0500 Report

Hi angry D!!! I suffered with a number of conditions related to high blood sugars, DKA being the worst!! I was admitted into hospital for a week due to DKA and suffered with really abmormal symptoms leading up to my admission. At that stage i didnt know the typical symptoms as i never experienced them before. But i remember sleeping for hours and hours and then still being tired. I lost a tone amount of weight and kept vomiting up my meals. I also had shortness of breathe where ever i went esp going upstairs. I was living away from home at the time so no one was really able to see how unwell i was.

My advice to you my friend is getting angry at diabetes really gets you no where in life.If youre not happy on injections why dont you look into a pump? Also type one is a pain in the arse for anyone to deal with esp if your in your 20s and trying to get on as best you can. I know in the past i felt like it held me back, and i resented it but sometimes you need to learn how to accept it and move on. Diabetes doesnt just stop you , you let diabetes get in your way. Maybe you should speak to a counseller or a diabetes nurse, i know as soon as i started talking about how i felt about it i changed my perspective on everything.

Best of luck, and if you find that you are having shortness of breathe it could be related to a number of things including anxiety/ panic attacks or dka so you could always test for ketones to rule the last one out either way you should have it investigated.

SmilyPinky4e 2012-10-02 19:01:32 -0500 Report

Oh wow. I didnt relizes that, but anyone can help me Im new to this. and in 3 months i have to have surgry to get my stomach smaller should i? some of my friend told me not to.

type1skillset 2012-10-01 17:26:22 -0500 Report

I'm with Roshy on that one, we are all here for you angry diabetic. I guess we will know when we have made a difference as you will change your profile to "happy diabetic" - hang in there!

angry diabetic
angry diabetic 2012-10-02 01:12:41 -0500 Report

hahaha! you made me laugh this morning - thank you :) I have been so extremely stubborn about accepting my diabetes for the last 8 years that it has consumed my life and happiness, i don't think i will ever get to "happy diabetic", maybe one day i will be "content diabetic"? hope i can get there… xxx

SmilyPinky4e 2012-10-02 19:02:54 -0500 Report

I cant believe that My mom never told me before i found out that i have been get diabetes all my life since 16 year old but i just found out 2 years ago. I just cant believe.

Ms. DAT 2012-10-02 04:15:09 -0500 Report

Hi Angry! Hope is a key factor for you to consider. I believe the way to live life to the fullest is to accept yourself then the diabetes while you are young. Don't wait until you get older with more complications before you accept you as you are now. I know you feel like it's easier said then done but You Can Do It!!

type1skillset 2012-10-01 08:06:56 -0500 Report

Hi Angry Diabetic. I do not have any research to quote on this, but every time you skip an injection, you will definitely be placing stress on your cardiovascular system which may be why you are struggling to get air. I am a type 1 and have been for 35 years (37 years old currently). You don't need a lecture from me on taking your injections, but I will say one thing, don't be mad at the disease and try boycotting it, you are only going to hurt you and not the disease. Its hard to manage, and frustrating on any given day, but it will take control of your life entirely with respect to your vision and kidneys if you keep adopting this approach. I guess what I am trying to say in short, care about yourself more than you do your diabetes by injecting when you should. It will also take care of that lack of air:)

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