How long for a type 1 diabetic to live without insulin?
Is there someone with medical knowledge who can answer this question? If a type 1 diabetic deliberately ingested a large quantity of sugar(glucose) and stopped taking insulin, what would be the expected time until death? (assuming no medical intervention, ie insulin, fluids etc). I'm thinking it would only take 48 hours at most? Can anyone expand upon this or clarify the process? Thanks.
Posted 3 years ago in Other by mamacarla


It depends on what food is eaten and how much body fat one has. I would think at most a few days. The time could be as short as a few hours if lots of carbs are eaten and there is little body fat to burn. See, keeping the carb intake low, the body would require little insulin. When it runs out of insulin it will start burning fat for energy. This leads to ketoacidosis where the byproducts of this fat burning (ketones) build up because there is no insulin to counteract the ketones. Drinking lots of water could help the kidneys filter the ketones out of the body...but not for very long since they will be produced faster than the body can filter them. Eventually they will build up enough to cause diabetic shock, coma, then death. I wouldn't try it!

What is Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body convert food into energy. Without insulin, glucose (sugar) from the food you eat cannot enter cells. So glucose builds up in the blood. Your body tissue becomes starved for energy.

Type 1 diabetes usually begins in children and young adults. Over the long-term, if type 1 diabetes is not adequately treated, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels, heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and other tissues or organs.

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