Near Death = Wake up Call

By Maggs777 Latest Reply 2014-12-02 11:38:03 -0600
Started 2014-11-29 12:39:05 -0600

I have not been here in quite some time. Since my diagnosis in Jan/2013 I have purposely been restricting my insulin because I discovered I would lose weight. Well it just recently almost cost me my life. I was admitted into hospital 2 and a half weeks ago with DK. My potassium levels were critically low at 2.3 and my A1c came back at 14. I was also experiencing extreme chest pains. Since being released I have been taking my insulin and my levels have been generally between 5.3 and 8 however I am still experiencing the chest pains especially when I take my insulin before meals and my night insulin. I was told that taking insulin while having low potassium can result in cardiac arrest. My fear is that if my potassium is low taking my insulin could cause the cardiac arrest but on the other hand if I stop taking my insulin I potentially risk the same thing. I'm trying to eat foods that are high in potassium but nothing seems to be helping. Has anyone experienced this?? Any advice??

7 replies

Maggs777 2014-11-30 09:22:47 -0600 Report

No I was not given a supplement. They just said eat bananas but that doesn't seem to be working. Going to go in this week to the Doctor's. Cattaztrophie I was 230 pounds and am now 160. It was great having people tell me how good I look but was it worth it in the end? That would be a NO!! I put on 10 pounds within a week after being out of the hospital and I will admit I panicked but kept with my insulin and eating 7 times a day. All healthy food and exercising as much as my chest will allow. I believe it was all water because I have lost it all and a few extra pounds but the right way. I'm sorry you are dealing with the issues you have. I hope things get better for you!!

Cattaztrophie 2014-12-02 11:38:03 -0600 Report

Things are SO much better! Since then I've gotten an insulin pump and CGM which totally improved my quality of life. I've also gotten married to a wonderful man who is loving and supportive at any weight!

RosalieM 2014-11-30 08:56:04 -0600 Report

I have been able to lose weight on insulin. The secret is to reduce the carb count of your food. I am type two, but I don't make enough insulin anymore.
I figured how to match my carb intake to my insulin so I can properly nourish my body but not gain or lose weight if I want to. You can do that too. It does take time, study and experimenting. When you get it, it will come easily. I am never hungry either. Grandma Rose

GabbyPA 2014-11-30 08:10:53 -0600 Report

Did your doctor give you a potassium supplement? It seems if that is the caution, I would find a way to increase that. Too much though can be bad as well, so keeping an eye on it through your lab work is important.

Cattaztrophie 2014-11-29 19:17:45 -0600 Report

I did this for YEARS. Mostly because I was in a relationship with an asshole. It's hard having people tell you how great you look, and then have them notice how big you blow up once you're motivated to take care of yourself. But guess what. I ended up getting gastropareisis and ended up looking like an Ethiopian child with skinny everything with a pregnant looking belly. I was in and out of the hospital twice a month for 5 years, and incurred about $100,000 of medical debt because of insurance issues. Now here's the good news: the weight is going to come off on its own eventually once you get your metabolism back. I PROMISE! As for the potassium thing, that happened because when your sugars were high you were probably flushing your body out with water AND you weren't absorbing any nutrition because you body wasn't digesting food correctly. Take a supplement for a few weeks until you're back on track. I've mostly dealt with extreme stomach pain and lots of pancreatitis with my high blood sugars, never anything to do with my chest. Did they do chest x-rays in the ER? If nothing came back then, I would talk to my doctor about referring you to a specialist.

jayabee52 2014-11-29 14:48:41 -0600 Report

Howdy Maggs
Quite a wake-up call!

I believe that restricting your insulin is not the way to lose weight while on insulin is to reduce the amount of carbs one consumes as one consumes less carbs, there will be a reduced need for insulin to open the cells for either feeding them or storing the carbs in the fat cells. A lot of folks with diabetes who inject insulin willplay the game of eating a bunch of carbs intending to "cover" for it with more insulin. That is a recipe IMO for getting fat while on insulin. . .

It is ironic that I must eat foods which are low in potassium since I have kidney disease and I must eat foods low in Potassium ("K").

I looked up foods high in potassium and the following is a multi page article from Everyday Health ~ You may already have done this.

I know my late wife had difficulty keeping her potassium up and even though she had diabetes she would eat potatoes and drink muscle milk to increase her K levels. She really didn't like to take K intravenously as it gave her difficulty somehow (so long ago I don't remember how)

I pray you get back on a better track


sandyfrazzini 2014-11-29 14:19:13 -0600 Report

I have been admitted to the hospital several time in DKA and it is pretty scary, it has been about 16 years since I was admitted last but before that probably 6 time from the age of 11. I have usually only had low back pain and shortness of breath and i know my potassium levels were low. I was in the ER a couple years ago with a rapid heartbeat and that turned out to be high potassium levels. I do know that there are a lot of foods with potassium and the levels can get too high quickly so be careful. I would ask your doctor because if you are worried about having a cardiac arrest everytime you take your insulin the stress will wreak havoc on your diabetes. Good luck to you

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