DUI and hypoglycaemia

Patient

Q: My brother was arrested for dui. He has diabetes type 2. He claims that he doesn't remember going into a liquer store buying a fifth of rum and then drinking it. In the process he hit a car and didn't stop.. He was found in a parking lot of I-hop restaraunt. Is it possible for this to happen to a diabetic? I want to believe him but it is a stretch. One other thing is that his wife had called an ambulance and the emt's checked his blood sugar and it was at 156.

Doctor

A:   Consuming alcohol in a diabetic patient initially raises blood sugar levels, but as the alcohol is metabolized by the body, the blood sugar levels fall. If the blood sugar drops to a low level in a patient on medication for type 2 diabetes mellitus, it is possible to have symptoms of confusion and irritability, and in dangerously low levels (<54) even seizures and coma may occur. This is highly unlikely if the blood sugar was 156 when tested by the EMT. It is more likely that your brother does not recall the events, because he was under the influence of alcohol.

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