The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Today, we’re excited to share with you another guest blog from Katie Janowiak, who works for the Medtronic Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm. When she first told me her story about food poisoning and Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), I knew others could benefit from hearing it as well. Thanks Katie for your openness and allowing us to share your scary story so that the LOOP community can learn from it. Throughout this past year, I’ve had the honor of sharing with you, the amazing LOOP community, my personal journey and the often humorous sequence of events that is my life with T1. Humor is, after all, the best (and cheapest) therapy. Allow me to pause today to share with you the down and dirty of what it feels like to have something that is not the slightest bit humorous: diabetic ketoacidosis.You are hot. You are freezing. You are confused. You are blacked out but coherent. You go to talk but words fail you. Time flies and goes in slow motion simultaneously. You will likely smell and look like death. In my instance, this was brought on by the combination of excessive vomiting and dehydration caused by food poisoning and the diabetic ketoacidosis that followed after my body had gone through so much. In hindsight, I was lucky, my husband knew that I had food poisoning because I began vomiting after our meal. But I had never prepped him on diabetic ketoacidosis and the symptoms (because DKA was for those other diabetics.) Upon finding me in our living room with a bowl of blood and bile by my side (no, I am not exaggerating), he got me into the car and took me to emergency care. It was 5:30 p.m. – and I thought it was 11:00 a.m. The series of events that led up to my stay in the ICU began innocently enough. It was a warm summer night and my husband and I walke Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma: The Deadly Truth
Complications of diabetes can be devastating, especially for the patient that goes into diabetic coma. In addition to possible brain damage, many may be unaware that death can also occur. A diabetic coma is a very serious medical condition that can be lethal. Statistics indicate that nearly half of the patients who fall into this type of coma will die. While there are various causes of a diabetic coma, it can be prevented in some cases. Knowing the warning signs and causes can aid in prevention and early treatment of this condition. What Causes A Diabetic Coma? Uncontrolled blood sugar often contributes to the incidence of diabetic coma. Hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, and diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome are all conditions related to the blood sugar that can result in diabetic coma and death. Thus, those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk. However, there are numerous other factors that can be responsible for this type of coma. Medications, infections, heart attack, and other illnesses and/or conditions can have the same potential effects. Complications One of the most common complications of diabetic coma tends to be associated with brain damage. Memory loss and changes in function may be noticeable for some, while others will have more severe impairments. Patients may often come back to consciousness within a few days and those that don't may remain in what is called an "awake" coma until death. During an awake coma, the individual may be able to make slight noises and the eyes may be open, but the individual cannot respond to stimuli. Loss of higher brain function has occurred in this situation. Treatment of diabetic coma consists of stabilizing and returning the patients blood sugar level back to normal. This is typically accomplished through the use of Continue reading >>
Coma Coma is a state of unconsciousness in which a patient does not react with the surrounding environment. Someone who is in a coma is unconscious and has minimal brain activity. It is not possible to wake a coma patient using physical or auditory stimulation. They're alive, but can't be woken up and show no signs of being aware. The person's eyes will be closed and they'll appear to be unresponsive to their environment. They won't normally respond to sound or pain, or be able to communicate or move voluntarily. Additionally a person in a coma fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light, or sound; lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle and, does not initiate voluntary actions, being unable to consciously feel, speak, hear, or move. Someone in a coma will also have very reduced basic reflexes such as coughing and swallowing. They may be able to breathe on their own, although some people require a machine to help them breathe. Over time, the person may start to gradually regain consciousness and become more aware. Some people will wake up after a few weeks, while others may go into a vegetative state or minimally conscious state (see recovering from a coma, below). Coma patients can exhibit different levels of unconsciousness and unresponsiveness depending on which brain regions have been damaged and how much or how little of the brain is functioning. Coma may result from; intoxication (eg drug abuse, overdose or misuse of medications), metabolic abnormalities, central nervous system diseases, acute neurologic injuries (eg stroke, hernia, hypoxia, hypothermia) or traumatic injuries caused by falls or vehicle collisions etc. In some instances, coma may be deliberately induced using pharmaceutical agents in order to preserve higher brain functions following brain trauma, Continue reading >>
What's It Like: To Suffer A Diabetic Coma
What is a diabetic coma? One of the risks associated with diabetes is what's known as a diabetic coma. A person with diabetes might suffer from a diabetic coma if his or her blood sugar levels get too high, a condition known as hyperglycemia, or go too low, which is referred to as hypoglycemia. A diabetic coma can result because of complications related to either. Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form in Oklahoma, which has consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally for the prevalence of diabetes in the state. About 305,000 adults in Oklahoma have been diagnosed with diabetes. Oklahoma has one of the highest diabetes death rates in the nation, and it's the sixth leading cause of death in Oklahoma. How is it treated? A hyperglycemic hyperosmolar coma — a result of extremely high blood sugar — is a medical emergency. This is more common in people who have type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes patients. When blood sugar gets too high, it draws fluid from the inside of brain cells, and you suffer from brain dysfunction. To help pull the person out of the coma, medical professionals will give that person fluids and insulin. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include decreasing levels of consciousness, frequent bathroom trips and extreme thirst. Sometimes hyperglycemia can be brought on by another condition or illness, such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia. Meanwhile, a person suffering from a coma because of low blood sugar might have a faster turnaround time. Usually, these people notice symptoms related to hypoglycemia and then ingest glucose. Early symptoms for hypoglycemia include an increased heart rate, chest pal Continue reading >>
Print Overview A diabetic coma is a life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness. If you have diabetes, dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to a diabetic coma. If you lapse into a diabetic coma, you're alive — but you can't awaken or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal. The prospect of a diabetic coma is scary, but fortunately you can take steps to help prevent it. Start by following your diabetes treatment plan. Symptoms Before developing a diabetic coma, you'll usually experience signs and symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) If your blood sugar level is too high, you may experience: Increased thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Stomach pain Fruity breath odor A very dry mouth A rapid heartbeat Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) Signs and symptoms of a low blood sugar level may include: Shakiness or nervousness Anxiety Fatigue Weakness Sweating Hunger Nausea Dizziness or light-headedness Difficulty speaking Confusion Some people, especially those who've had diabetes for a long time, develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness and won't have the warning signs that signal a drop in blood sugar. If you experience any symptoms of high or low blood sugar, test your blood sugar and follow your diabetes treatment plan based on the test results. If you don't start to feel better quickly, or you start to feel worse, call for emergency help. When to see a doctor A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. If you feel extreme high or low blood sugar signs or symptoms and think you might pass out, call 911 or your local emergency nu Continue reading >>
When your loved one is in a coma, it can be hard to accept all the health implications and risks that come with such a prognosis. You may ask: Why did this happen? How long will the coma last? What can I do? This feeling of desperation is not one that any person wants to go through. No one wants to see their family member or loved one suffer. You need support. You want answers. We at the Brain Injury Law Center understand this and want to help as much as we can. Alternatively, if you’ve experienced a coma and have seen your quality of life decline, you know firsthand how difficult it is to recover from a brain injury. It’s not only the setback to your health that has caused prolonged suffering, but emotional and financial hardships as well. A coma is the result of a severe brain injury, but can be categorized into subgroups as listed below. Click on each topic to read more: While in a coma, a person can continue to heal and progress through different states of consciousness. However, persons who sustain a severe brain injury and experience coma can make significant improvements, but are often left with permanent physical, cognitive or behavioral impairments. People in a coma: May appear to be “asleep” because they cannot be awakened or alerted; May not move at all, even to painful stimuli. The person may be unable to produce any voluntary actions or meaningful responses; Can show various levels of non-purposeful movements. The person may respond minimally or not at all to stimuli; Will not be able to talk to you. Unfortunately, there is no treatment a physician can use to bring a person out of a coma. Likewise, there is no test to predict when a person will come out of a coma or what a person’s recovery will be like. “A coma can last days, weeks, months or i Continue reading >>
How Long Can A Diabetic Go Without Food?
A diabetic cannot go without food for long. If a diabetic doesn't eat regularly, her blood glucose level can plummet. Diabetics should eat snacks and meals on a schedule because a delay of as little as half an hour can lower blood sugar, which can have catastrophic results. Diabetics are especially prone to a condition known as hypoglycemia, a reaction caused by too much insulin in the bloodstream. Once a diabetic takes insulin, it is important to eat something within 30 minutes before blood sugar begins dropping. The dose of insulin you take must also match the amount of carbohydrates you consume in order to keep blood sugar levels under control. When a diabetic does not eat enough food, but still administers insulin, blood glucose levels can drop dangerously low, inducing hypoglycemia. Early signs of hypoglycemia include dizziness, weakness, headache, hunger or shakiness. If blood glucose drops too low, a person can become confused or even lose consciousness. In some cases, insulin shock can lead to coma. Although all diabetics suffer hypoglycemia at times, according to the American Diabetes Association, you should talk to your doctor about what your blood glucose levels should be. If your blood sugar falls below what your doctor recommends, you are likely hypoglycemic. When hypoglycemia occurs, you need to get some sugar into your body quickly. Fruit juice, milk, a few pieces of hard candy, or a tablespoon of sugar or honey can help raise glucose levels in the blood temporarily. Diabetics often need to adjust the doses of insulin they take depending on how many grams of carbohydrates they eat for a meal or snack. While this balance can be different for one person than for another, counting the carbohydrates you consume allows you to maintain a healthful blood glucose Continue reading >>
what is blood count when a person goes into a diabetic coma? It depends on the person, and how you calculate your blood glucose results. (+ info) Diabetic Coma? When I hear people talking about going into diabetic a coma what are they talking about? I have diabetes and I get scared when I hear them talking about it. Actually, there is no set number for when a person can go into a diabetic coma.I have been a nurse for almost 30 yrs, and diabetic for over 15.....I have seen people go into comas at levels less than 300, and people not go into comas & actually have a glucose of over 1400....everyone is different....and since there is no set "rules" about when a person with uncontrolled blood sugar can go into a coma.....educate, control & thrive. It's very simple to educate yourself, take control of your illness & thrive....... (+ info) diabetic coma? i'm a newly diagnosed diabetic with type 1 diabetes. I've learnt all the basics and such and how to handle different situation but i was wondering how long your blood sugars have to be high to go in to a coma and what level your blood sugar is at. I live in the Uk by the way if that helps in any way :) I know about hypo's but i'm still unsure about high blood sugars. Any information is greatly appreciated :) Thanks! Also i'm 15. It appears you a bit confused about different diabetic conditions. High blood sugar will very rarely lead to a diabetic coma - it will lead to ketone acidosis as explained in detail by another poster. However, ketone acidosis and another high glucose condition (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome) can lead to a coma - again very rare for a coma to be induced by high blood glucose. A diabetic coma is usually the result of extremely LOW blood sugar. Too much injected insulin drives blood gluco Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma Symptoms, What You Need To Know
Diabetic coma symptoms are something we should all be aware of. It is true that type 1 diabetics are more likely to experience them than type 2, but as diabetics are living longer, the chance of experiencing symptoms is greater. One statistic is that up to 15% of diabetics will go into diabetic coma because of severe hypoglycemia. Coma is another word for unconscious. A diabetic is in a coma if he cannot be wakened and can't respond to sounds and sights. It does not mean the person in a coma will die. These days, with swift blood test results and treatment, a diabetic will come out of a coma very fast. Diabetic medical alert bracelets and necklaces keep us from being misdiagnosed as drunk or epileptic when we cannot speak. But just knowing you are a diabetic is not enough. If you are taken to an emergency room, the doctors look for diabetic alert charms. But diabetic coma symptoms still need to be diagnosed correctly so the proper treatment is started, because there are three different types of coma, and the complications of all three are brain damage and death. Oddly, either chronic high blood sugar or sudden low blood sugar can trigger diabetic coma symptoms. That's why it's good to know how we react to both of them. With high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, you feel thirsty and have to urinate more often. You feel fatigue, and there is always nausea and vomiting, often for days. You can feel short of breath and have stomach pain. There is a fruity or acetone smell to your breath and a fast heartbeat. The symptoms are not sudden. But low blood sugar comes on very swiftly and can wake you out of a sound sleep. You feel shaky, nervous, tired and either hungry or nauseated. You sweat a lot and your heart races. You can get irritated and even aggressive for no reason, and Continue reading >>
How Long Does Diabetic Coma Last And How Is It Treated?
When immediately attended and given the right treatment, the diabetic patient can be quickly wakened up from the diabetic coma. Late attention to diabetic coma might take more glucose to be given to the person for better healing. The diabetic coma is connected to the metabolic abnormalities which forces the diabetic patient to the coma. If the diabetic patient stays in the coma for longer periods of time or if the patient is unattended for long time, permanant brain damage may take place or in rare instances it may lead to death of the patient. What is the Prognosis or Outlook for Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma can be fatal. Late attention may prolong the period of treatment. A person who has been treated for long for diabetic coma is recorded to experience a brain damage. This is a dire situation but can be avoided by taking precautionary measures. Remain alert and aware to save yourself from diabetic coma. Manage your diabetic syndromes effectively to save your life. Even after the sugar level is normalized in a person, he or she will still experience nervous disorders like seizures or talking problems. Problems still persists even after recovering from diabetic coma. The recovery time cannot be predicted and depends on individual case. When immediately attended and given glucose biscuits, a person can be quickly wakened up. Late attention might take more glucose to be given to the person for better healing. Consult your doctor and take necessary guidelines on how to prevent any incident of diabetic coma or any other complexities if you are diabetic. Your doctor may prescribe you tests to determine the exact "dos and don'ts" to you on how to manage diabetes. Diabetic coma is caused by three major reasons: Severe hypolgycemia i.e., low blood sugar level Diabetic ketoacid Continue reading >>
Ask The Diabetes Team
Question: From Santa Monica, California, USA: How long can a diabetic coma last? When a person comes out of it, is it possible to have amnesia? Answer: I think it really depends on the cause of "diabetic coma." This is not really a good, descriptive term. The loss of consciousness that comes from severe hypoglycemia usually does not last long, but if low enough, the brain could be without fuel long enough to cause brain injury and even with later correction of the blood glucose, still be associated with a "coma." That scenario could lead to a prolonged coma, and the brain injury I am sure could lead to memory problems and others. Extremely high blood sugars with or without DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] can lead to brain swelling which can cause brain injury, coma and presumably injury to lead to memory or other problems. That type of coma, I think, has a better possibility of lasting longer and causing more injury than low blood glucose. So, without understanding the circumstances that lead to your question, this is the general answer that I can provide. DTQ-20020924165942 Posted to Hyperglycemia and DKA and Hypoglycemia Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Seizures: What Are They? What Are The Symptoms?
Having a seizure is a very serious thing. It is dangerous for the person experiencing it, and it is also scary for those nearby. Seizures can be caused for several reasons. Some people have epilepsy, which is a disorder where seizures happen often. For those without epilepsy, they are often called “provoked seizures” because they were provoked, or brought on, by something reversible. Individuals with diabetes can experience these “provoked seizures” when their blood sugar drops too low. The following article explains the difference in these, how to prevent them, and how to care for someone that is having a diabetic seizure. The difference between epilepsy and seizures Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that happens because there is an electrical storm in the brain. People have recurrent seizures that involve loss of consciousness, convulsions, abnormal behavior, disruption of senses, or all of the above. Some have an “aura” before having a seizure and know when it is going to happen. Most causes of epilepsy are unknown, however they can be triggered by flickering light, loud noises, or physical stimulation. Treatment for this condition includes medications and sometimes diet changes. A “provoked seizure” happens because something abnormal is happening in the body. This can include low sodium, fever, alcohol, drugs, trauma, or low blood sugar. The same thing happens as with epilepsy, and there is unusual activity in the brain causing abnormal movements and behaviors. Unlike epilepsy though, where a seizure can happen for no reason, there is an actual cause for each one that occurs for “provoked seizure”. It is important to understand the cause of these so that preventative measures can be taken. There is no relationship between epilepsy and diabetes. One Continue reading >>
What Is A Coma?
Coma A coma is a deep state of unconsciousness. A person in a coma is alive but can’t wake up. Someone in a coma is not able to respond in an appropriate way to what is around him or her. What is a persistent vegetative state? Sometimes, following a coma, a person may enter what is known as a persistent vegetative state. The patient is able to breathe and may appear awake. People in this state may open their eyes, but not recognize things they see. They may move parts of their body, but with little purpose. People in a coma or vegetative state may do some of these things: Open their eyes Move about in bed Grasp your hand when you hold their hand Laugh, cry, or moan People in this state are not able to speak or respond to commands. What causes a coma? Special parts of the brain control a person’s ability to wake up or respond. A coma may be caused by: Head injury Trauma Brain tumor Drug or alcohol overdose How long does a coma last? It is difficult to predict how long someone will be in a coma. A coma rarely lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks. But a persistent vegetative state may last for years. Some people may never wake up from a coma. A person may wake from a coma with physical, intellectual, or emotional problems. Some never regain more than basic responses. However, many recover full awareness. If the injury is severe, it may affect the person’s recovery. A person does not suddenly wake up from a coma. It is a gradual process. Every person recovers at a different rate. What special care does a patient in a coma need? Once the patient is out of danger, although still in a coma, the doctors and nurses will concentrate on keeping the patient healthy. They will work to prevent illness, such as pneumonia, infection, or bed sores. They will make sure the patient receives Continue reading >>
What You Should Know About Diabetic Seizures
A diabetic seizure can be a life-threatening event. As such, the more you know about this subject in advance the more likely you will be to know exactly what to do if one does occur. Being well-informed and prepared may save a life! A diabetic seizure may result from excessively high blood sugar or excessively low blood sugar; as the best method is prevention, any person who has been diagnosed with high, low, or irregular levels of blood sugar should follow his or her physician’s recommendations for keeping the blood sugar level as stable and consistent as possible. Although some patients and even some doctors disagree, there is not really much difference between a diabetic seizure and other forms of seizures, such as those which are caused by epilepsy. While the symptoms are generally the same, there is one very significant difference– the blood sugar irregularities which can cause a diabetic seizure can also cause the diabetic patient to lapse into a coma. Some people take the subject of seizures lightly. This is a mistake! One reason why it is important to take a diabetic seizure seriously is that when a person is having a seizure he can accidentally injure himself. The two main forms of injury which often occur during seizures are injuries which can be either minor or major from the person falling or hitting his body against objects. The other common injury associated with seizures is that the person can bite his tongue; bleeding from this type of injury can be quite severe. These reasons alone are just cause to realize that diabetic seizures have the potential of being dangerous. However, the possibility of the patient lapsing into a diabetic coma must also be considered. The main reason for seeing a diabetic coma as a serious threat to the patient’s health a Continue reading >>
Your Intensive Care Hotline - Diabetic Coma
What is Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma is a reversible form of coma found in people with diabetes mellitus. It is a medical emergency. Three different types of diabetic coma are identified: Severe diabetic hypoglycemia Diabetic ketoacidosis advanced enough to result in unconsciousness from a combination of severe hyperglycemia, dehydration and shock, and exhaustion Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma in which extreme hyperglycemia and dehydration alone are sufficient to cause unconsciousness. In most medical contexts, the term diabetic coma refers to the diagnostical dilemma posed when a physician is confronted with an unconscious Patient about whom nothing is known except that he has diabetes. An example might be a physician working in an emergency department who receives an unconscious Patient wearing a medical identification tag saying DIABETIC. Paramedics may be called to rescue an unconscious person by friends who identify him as diabetic. Brief descriptions of the three major conditions are followed by a discussion of the diagnostic process used to distinguish among them, as well as a few other conditions which must be considered. An estimated 2 to 15 percent of diabetics will suffer from at least one episode of diabetic coma in their lifetimes as a result of severe hypoglycemia. What is diabetes? Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Hyperosmolar Hypoglycemic Non-Ketotic Coma (HHNKC) Hypoglycemic Coma What happens In Intensive Care? How long will your loved one remain in Intensive Care? Internet Links What is Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.This high blood sugar produces Continue reading >>
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