From Maine, USA:
Is there such a thing as Trauma Diabetes? My 82 year old uncle has just been in a car accident. He had no injuries, but he does have some bleeding in his ventricle of the brain on the right side. They are saying he may of had a slight stroke and believe the accident cause the blood sugar to elevate.
Yes, there is a phenomenon called "stress hyperglycemia." It's not uncommon to find an elevated blood sugar as part of the evaluation in the Emergency Room, and then find that the followup blood sugars are all okay. Presumably, the stress causes the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that cause the blood sugar to go up. Of course, there's also the possibility that some people might have had elevated blood sugars before their emergency, and not have known about them until the emergency room physicians ordered blood tests.
I haven't heard the term "Trauma Diabetes" before, but your description of your uncle's situation matches what can happen to some folks under super-stress.
Original posting 20 May 1999
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms
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