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Biochemistry

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Mistreating Type I Diabetes

BIOCHM-QOOSYO

The headline in the local newspaper described a fundraiser for the family of a 27-year old young man (Brandon) who died after mistreating his Type-1 diabetes. Brandon thought he was suffering from low blood sugar (he was actually hyperglycemic) and, rather than test his blood, he drank a soda rich in sugar and died shortly thereafter.

Which of the following explanations MOST likely explains what happened to Brandon?

A

Brandon's blood sugar level was too high to begin with because his body did not use insulin properly (insulin resistance). Adding more sugar to his blood stream resulted in a rapidly increased rate of anaerobic glycolysis producing ethanol and leading to alcohol poisoning, coma, and death.

B

Brandon's blood sugar level was too high to begin with because his body did not use insulin properly (insulin resistance). Adding more sugar to his blood stream stimulated fatty acid metabolism producing ketone bodies, a temporary carbon energy source. However, in the absence of an insulin response, this led to a toxic buildup of ketones causing ketoacidosis, coma, and death.

C

Brandon's blood sugar level was too high to begin with because his body did not produce insulin. Adding more sugar to his blood stream resulted in a rapidly increased rate of glycolysis generating ATP, but starving his cells of oxygen and leading to coma and death.

D

Brandon's blood sugar level was too high to begin with because his body did not produce insulin. Adding more sugar to his blood stream stimulated fatty acid metabolism producing ketone bodies, a temporary carbon energy source. However, in the absence of insulin, this led to a toxic buildup of ketones causing ketoacidosis, coma, and death.