Last Christmas, the wife of Pete Williams from Flintshire in Wales, endured a hypoglycaemic attack, or “hypo”, which caused a diabetic coma, leading to severe brain damage . His wife, Margaret, who is 53, was diagnosed with diabetes 18 months ago, but was unwell in the lead up to the festive seaso, and was taking antibiotics for an infection.
However, on Christmas Day she was discovered with a blood glucose level reading that was low enough to be classed as a hypo, and she was rushed to hospital, where it was found Margaret had suffered brain damage and swelling to the brain. Margaret has since shown slow but steady signs of improvement, and now lives in a care home. She is having physiotherapy and receiving aural and visual stimulation to aid her recovery.
Mr Williams, who also has type 2 diabetes, is now urging greater awareness of the metabolic condition. He said “I didn’t realise that people with type 2 diabetes could have hypos.”
The charity Diabetes UK say that people with diabetes who notice signs of an impending hypo should quickly take a fast-acting carbohydrate such as a non-diet drink, glucose tablets, sweets such as jelly babies or a glass of fruit juice.
Dai Williams, national director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said “It is an important reminder that people on certain medication for Type 2 diabetes can have hypos which, when identified early, can be treated very quickly with a quick-acting carbohydrate as long as the person is conscious.”

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