Matthew, a basketball-loving 10th-grader at Fort Lee High School, died of complications of Type 1 diabetes Saturday at a Manhattan hospital. He was 16.
Matthew suffered a seizure at home Thursday night and went into cardiac arrest, said his mother, Enid Rodriguez, a New York City emergency medical technician.
He was diagnosed with diabetes at age 2, wore an insulin pump and had his “ups and downs” with the disease, Rodriguez said.
“His illness had a big impact on his life, but it didn’t stop him from having a good time,” Rodriguez said. “He loved his friends, he was full of life, and he was always laughing.”
The 5-foot-4 Matthew was always playing basketball, sometimes till 10 p.m. at the Fort Lee Community Center. He played on the high school freshman team last year.
“Matthew was a very happy boy, who really gave us no indication of how he struggled with his disease,” she said. “[His diabetes] did not define him, and that’s what I always admired about Matthew.”
Health-e-Solutions comment: Hypoglycemia is a very serious threat to the type 1 diabetic’s health. The number one cause of hypoglycemia is improper insulin dosing, resulting in hyperinsulinemia. This is why stabilizing blood glucose levels through proper food and lifestyle choices is so important. It reduces or eliminates the amount of insulin required counteract foods ingested. Dr. Richard Bernstein calls this the law of small numbers.
The “eat whatever you want” approach can lead to many more hypoglycemic incidences as the diabetic rides the roller-coaster of highs and lows due to food choices and the difficulty of proper insulin dosing. The diabetic-alkaline lifestyle is, in our opinion, a far better way to manage type one diabetes, as well as type two diabetes, pre-diabetes and many other types of diabetes.
According to diabetes journals, In children, 75% of hypoglycemic seizures occur at night. Among patients with type 1 diabetes, there is a 6% lifetime risk of “dead-in-bed”, which may in part be a result of severe nocturnal hypoglycemia. Nighttime is the most vulnerable period for hypoglycemia, since sleep blunts the counter-regulatory responses to hypoglycemia, even in non-diabetic children. In young children, there is also concern that severe hypoglycemic events can cause permanent neurologic consequences.
Brief or mild hypoglycemia produces no lasting effects on the brain, though it can temporarily alter brain responses to additional hypoglycemia. Prolonged, severe hypoglycemia can produce lasting damage of a wide range. This can include impairment of cognitive function, motor control, or even consciousness. The likelihood of permanent brain damage from any given instance of severe hypoglycemia is difficult to estimate, and depends on a multitude of factors such as age, recent blood and brain glucose experience, concurrent problems such as hypoxia, and availability of alternative fuels.
It has been frequently found that those Type 1 diabetics found “dead in bed” in the morning after suspected severe hypoglycemia had some underlying coronary pathology that led to an induced fatal heart attack. Recently, several of these individuals found “dead in bed” were wearing Continuous Glucose Monitors, which provided a history of glucose levels prior to the fatal event. It has been found in several cases, that the fatal event was preceded by at least two hours of blood glucose levels under 40 mg/dl, possibly lower as the continuous glucose monitors are not accurate at levels below 40 mg/dl. The individuals failed to respond to the audible alarms produced by the continuous glucose monitor which may have been “alarming” for many hours prior to the fatal event. The vast majority of symptomatic hypoglycemic episodes result in no detectable permanent harm.