Understanding And Preventing Diabetic Coma
Diabetic coma is a serious, potentially life-threatening complication associated with diabetes. A diabetic coma causes unconsciousness that you cannot awaken from without medical care. Most cases of diabetic coma occur in people with type 1 diabetes. But people with other types of diabetes are also at risk. If you have diabetes, it’s important to learn about diabetic coma, including its causes and symptoms. Doing so will help prevent this dangerous complication and help you get the treatment you need right away. Diabetic coma can occur when blood sugar levels are out of control. It has three main causes: Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia occurs when you don’t have enough glucose, or sugar, in your blood. Low sugar levels can happen to anyone from time to time. If you treat mild to moderate hypoglycemia immediately, it usually resolves without progressing to severe hypoglycemia. People on insulin have the highest risk, though people who take oral diabetes medications that increase insulin levels in the body may also be at risk. Untreated or unresponsive low blood sugars can lead to severe hypoglycemia. This is the most common cause of diabetic coma. You should take extra precautions if you have difficulty detecting symptoms of hypoglycemia. This diabetes phenomenon is known as hypoglycemia unawareness. DKA Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when your body lacks insulin and uses fat instead of glucose for energy. Ketone bodies accumulate in the bloodstream. DKA occurs in both forms of diabetes, but it’s more common in type 1. Ketone bodies may be detected with special blood glucose meters or with urine strips to check for DKA. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking for ketone bodies and DKA if your blood glucose is over 240 mg/dl. When left untreated, DKA can Continue reading >>
What Is A Coma?
A coma is a state of unconsciousness where a person is unresponsive and cannot be woken. It can result from injury to the brain, such as a severe head injury or stroke. A coma can also be caused by severe alcohol poisoning or a brain infection (encephalitis). People with diabetes could fall into a coma if their blood glucose levels suddenly became very low (hypoglycaemia) or very high (hyperglycaemia). You may find the following information useful if you have a friend or loved one who is in a coma. Someone who is in a coma is unconscious and has minimal brain activity. 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. 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"). Caring for and monitoring a person in a coma Doctors assess a person's level of consciousness using a tool called the Glasgow Coma Scale. This level is monitored constantly for signs of improvement or deterioration. The Glasgow Coma Scale assesses three things: eye opening – a score of one means no eye opening, and four means opens eyes spontaneously verbal response to a command – a score of one means no response, and five means alert and talking voluntary movements in response to a command – a score of one means no resp Continue reading >>
What Happens When You Go Into A Diabetic Coma?
Diabetes comes along with a lot of complications and another such life-threatening condition that can affect both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients is a diabetic coma. It is a situation, where the person although alive, cannot respond to any sights, sounds, or any other types of physical simulations. In this article, we shall know more about diabetes coma and what happens when a person slips into one. So, join in for the article “What Happens When You Go into a Diabetic Coma?” What is Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma is a life-threatening condition caused due to either very high or very low glucose levels in a diabetes patient. It affects patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The major risk factors for this type of condition increases when you are on an insulin pump, have fallen sick and the blood sugar has risen dramatically, you have had a heart failure or a kidney-related disease, you have the habit of drinking too much of alcohol, or even when you have failed to manage your diabetes effectively. In the following paragraphs, we shall study the symptoms and causes of this fatal condition in detail. Symptoms of Diabetic Coma Let us now look into the signs and symptoms which help us understand that a person is slipping into diabetes coma. As mentioned above, it can occur either in cases of hyperglycemia or very high levels of blood glucose or in the case of hypoglycemia or low levels of blood glucose. So, let us look into the symptoms of each: Signs of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar The patient experiences high level of thirst and urination Stomach pain is another sign The body gives out a fruity odor Extreme fatigue Dry mouth Vomiting Difficult to breathe easily Heartbeat becomes really fast Signs of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar Difficulty in speaking Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma: Causes, What Happens When You Go Into A Diabetic Coma?
What is Diabetic Coma and What Happens When You go Into a Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma is a fatal complication that leads to unconsciousness. Any diabetic person with extremely high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) level of blood sugar can be affected by diabetic coma. A person who has slipped into diabetic coma will not be able to respond to any physical stimulation except for being alive. Diabetic coma can cause death when left untreated or not properly treated on time. There are very less chances of hopes in case of diabetic coma. However one can control his or her health conditions to avoid occurrence of diabetic coma. One should follow their diabetes management plan strictly to avoid a turn towards diabetic coma. Diabetic coma is of three types, ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycemic coma. Emergency medical facility is required in case of a diabetic coma Hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia is caused by huge rate of fluctuation in the blood sugar level leading to diabetic coma. Whenever there is any extreme fluctuation in the glucose level of the blood, the same has to be reported to the doctor immediately. Never forget that "prevention is better than cure". Make yourself more aware on diabetes and learn the likely consequences of the disease to keep yourself alert. Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q's) on Diabetic Coma A person can fall in to diabetic coma while suffering from Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The person will not remain conscious in this sleep-like state. This state which can be caused by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) or hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), can remain for long time or sometimes lead to death. "Ketones" are generated in the human body when it uses body fat for energy. Ketones are also generated when there is minimum insu 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 >>
Diabetes, Insulin Shock And Diabetic Coma
"I'm not sure what's wrong with her. Suddenly she just sat down and seemed really confused. We went for a jog this morning but didn't have time to eat breakfast. We were on the way to get a late lunch when this happened." Diabetes is caused by the body's inability to process and use the type of sugar carried by the bloodstream to the body's cells. Sugar is an essential nutrient. The cells of the body need both oxygen and sugar to survive. The body produces a hormone called insulin, which enables sugar carried by the blood to move into individual cells, where it is used as fuel. If the body does not produce enough insulin, cells become "starved" for sugar. This condition is called diabetes. A person with diabetes must take supplemental insulin to bring insulin levels up to normal. Mild diabetes can sometimes be treated by oral medicine rather than insulin. Diabetes is a serious medical condition. Therefore, all diabetic patients who are sick must be evaluated and treated in an appropriate medical facility. Two specific things can go wrong in the management of diabetes: insulin shock and diabetic coma. Both are emergencies that you must deal with as a first responder. Insulin Shock Insulin shock occurs if the body has enough insulin but not enough blood sugar. A diabetic may take insulin in the morning and then alter the usual routine by not eating or by exercising vigorously. In either case, the level of blood sugar drops and the patient suffers insulin shock. The signs and symptoms of insulin shock are similar to those of other types of shock. Suspect insulin shock if a patient has a history of diabetes or is carrying medical emergency information. Symptoms of insulin shock include: Pale, moist, cool skin. Rapid pulse. Dizziness or headache. Confusion or unconsciousness Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma Symptoms
A diabetic coma is a serious, life-threatening complication of diabetes in which the patient falls into a state of unconsciousness. It constitutes a medical emergency if left untreated, since it may result in permanent brain damage or death, as MayoClinic.com notes. Death rates can be as high as 50 percent. A diabetic coma occurs mainly due to severe and constant fluctuations in the patient’s blood sugar level. There are also several other causes and attendant symptoms associated with diabetic coma. Video of the Day What is Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma is a reversible form of coma that is associated with diabetes. It arises mainly as a consequence of diabetes that is left unchecked. There are three variants: ketoacidotic coma, hypoglycemic coma and hyperosmolar coma. The particular symptoms of the diabetic coma depend largely on the conditions that give rise to it, Better Health Channel explains. Treatment options for this condition will therefore vary for the same reasons. However, in every case, diabetic coma is considered a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Symptoms of Ketoacidotic Coma Ketoacidotic coma occurs mostly in patients with Type 1 diabetes, Diabetes.co.uk reports. It is caused by the build-up of ketones – by-products of fat breakdown – that cause the blood to become excessively acidic. When insulin is lacking, the body switches to using fat instead of glucose for energy, causing the ketone build-up. Usually, this is brought about or worsened by an infection or missed insulin dosage. Symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, extreme thirst, nausea, confusion, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, stomach pain, frequent urination and fruity smell on the breath. Extremely low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia, can lead to unconsciousness and Continue reading >>
What You Should Know About Recovery From Diabetic Coma
A diabetic coma occurs when a person with diabetes loses consciousness. It can occur in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A diabetic coma occurs when blood sugar levels become either too low or too high. The cells in your body require glucose to function. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can make you feel lightheaded and lose consciousness. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can cause dehydration to the point where you may lose consciousness. Usually, you can prevent hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia from progressing to a diabetic coma. If a diabetic coma occurs, it’s likely that your doctor can balance your blood glucose levels and restore your consciousness and health quickly if they can respond to your condition in a timely manner. You can also slip into a diabetic coma if you develop diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a buildup of chemicals called ketones in your blood. Hypoglycemia The symptoms of hypoglycemia may include: headache fatigue dizziness confusion heart palpitations shakiness Hyperglycemia If you have hyperglycemia, you may experience noticeably increased thirst and you may urinate more frequently. A blood test would also reveal higher levels of glucose in your blood stream. A urine test can also show that your glucose levels are too high. DKA causes high levels of blood glucose. The symptoms also include increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Other symptoms of elevated ketone levels include: feeling tired having an upset stomach having flushed or dry skin If you have more severe diabetic coma symptoms, call 911. Severe symptoms may include: vomiting difficulty breathing confusion weakness dizziness A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. It can lead to brain damage or death if you don’t get treatment. Treating hyperg 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 >>
Pregnancy And Diabetes
The lowdown on different types of diabetes -- and how they could affect your baby. Introduction Diabetes affects 11.5 million women in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 10 percent of all women aged 20 or older have the condition. If diabetes is left untreated, the consequences are blindness, kidney failure, and limb amputation are just a few of the potential health hazards. And if you're pregnant, your baby can suffer healthwise too. The good news? If you get the proper medical treatment, neither you nor your baby has to suffer from this very serious -- but very manageable -- disease. Types of Diabetes Put simply, diabetes develops when the pancreas produces too little or no insulin, a hormone that enables sugar derived from food to enter the body's blood cells and be converted to energy. Without sufficient insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and over time can damage the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves. Diabetics are also at risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can lead to a diabetic coma. There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1, which is less common but more severe, is an autoimmune disease that develops when the pancreas fails to produce insulin. It's usually diagnosed during childhood or early adolescence. Symptoms include frequent urination, extreme thirst, and sudden weight loss. To control their disease, type 1 diabetics need to inject themselves with insulin throughout the day. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's failure to produce enough or properly respond to insulin. The symptoms are similar to those of type 1, though they're less severe. Some type 2 diabetics can control their disease through diet and exercise only. Others use medications to keep suga Continue reading >>
Cause Of Diabetic Coma
Diabetic coma is a dangerous condition that can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Diabetic coma may affect 2% to 15% of all diabetics at least once in their lifetime and the condition that most commonly causes the coma is severe hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar. There are three main causes of coma in people with diabetes: diabetic ketoacidosis, severe hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state. However, despite the increased prevalence of diabetes across the globe, improved diagnosis and early treatment of these causative conditions has lessened the risk of death due to diabetic coma. A glucometer, for example, can detect high or low blood sugar in an unconscious diabetic patient within seconds and this can be confirmed in the laboratory within an hour. Furthermore, due to the widespread warnings and knowledge regarding the possibility of the three conditions, most patients are brought to an emergency unit before the onset of coma. The three causes of diabetic coma Severe hypoglycaemia If an individual’s sugar level in the blood and the brain drops to below 3.5 mmol/l, they are at risk of losing consciousness and falling into a diabetic coma. This risk is greater if an excess dose of insulin or other anti-diabetic medications has been taken, if alcohol is in the person’s body while they are hypoglycemic, or if vigorous exercise has depleted the body’s supply of glycogen. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) This condition is more common among people with type 1 diabetes or those with type 2 diabetes who are taking insulin. If there is shortage of insulin, the body fails to use the glucose in the blood for energy and instead fats are broken down in the liver to form acidic compounds called ketones. These ketones build up in the body causing DKA. The condition Continue reading >>
Tweet Coma is relatively rare in diagnosed diabetes but it is very important to be aware of the situations that increase risk of coma. Causes of diabetic coma The main causes of coma occurring in people with diabetes are as a result of very low or very high blood glucose levels. The three most common causes of coma in people with diabetes are: Severe hypoglycemia and coma Severe hypoglycemia (very low blood glucose levels) can lead to loss of consciousness and coma if not treated. In most cases the body will restore blood sugar levels to normal by releasing glucagon to raise blood sugar levels. Coma is more likely to occur from low blood glucose levels if: A large insulin overdose is taken Alcohol is in the body during hypoglycemia Exercise has depleted the body’s glycogen supply Diabetic ketoacidosis and coma Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous state of having very high blood glucose levels (typically above 17 mmol/L) in combination with high ketone levels. Ketoacidosis is able to occur if the body runs out of insulin and is therefore a factor for people with type 1 diabetes to be aware of. Insulin can prevent ketone levels rising and this is the key reason why people with diabetes are advised never to miss their long term (basal) insulin injections. The symptoms of ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, dehydration, disorientation and deep, laboured breathing. If someone with diabetes is displaying these symptoms call for emergency medical help as loss of consciousness and coma could follow. Illness in type 1 diabetes can lead to high blood glucose and ketone levels. It is advisable to test for ketones during periods of illness to prevent ketoacidosis developing. Diabetic coma at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes If the symptoms of type 1 diabetes are not spotted soon e Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know
In people with diabetes, a diabetic coma occurs when severe levels of either high or low uncontrolled blood sugar are not corrected. If treated quickly, a person will make a rapid recovery from a diabetic coma. However, diabetic coma can be fatal or result in brain damage. It is important for people with diabetes to control their blood sugars and know what to do when their blood sugar levels are not within their target range. The severe symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar that can come before a diabetic coma include vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, weakness, and dizziness. Recovery from diabetic coma If a diabetic coma is not treated within a couple of hours of it developing, it can cause irreversible brain damage. If no treatment is received, a diabetic coma will be fatal. In addition, having blood sugar levels that continue to be too low or too high can be bad for long-term health. This remains true even if they do not develop into diabetic coma. Recognizing the early signs of low or high blood sugar levels and regular monitoring can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range. Doing so will also reduce the risk of associated complications and diabetic coma. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a long-term condition in which the body is unable to control the level of a sugar called glucose in the blood. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin, the body's inability to use insulin correctly, or both. In people who don't have diabetes, insulin usually ensures that excess glucose is removed from the bloodstream. It does this by stimulating cells to absorb the glucose they need for energy from the blood. Insulin also causes any remaining glucose to be stored in the liver as a substance called glycogen. The production of insul Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma And Type 2 Diabetes
A diabetic coma could happen when your blood sugar gets too high -- 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more -- causing you to become very dehydrated. It usually affects people with type 2 diabetes that isn’t well-controlled. It’s common among those who are elderly, chronically ill, and disabled. Doctors aren’t sure why, but they think they these people may not realize they’re thirsty or may not be able to get enough to drink. This is a serious condition, and if it isn’t spotted soon and treated quickly, it could be fatal. Knowing the symptoms can help you stay safe. If you have diabetes and you’ve had a heavy thirst and gone to the bathroom more often than usual for a few weeks, check with your doctor -- especially if your blood sugar isn’t well-controlled. As your body loses more and more water, you may notice: Drowsiness Altered mental state Restlessness Inability to speak Visual problems Paralysis These factors may lead to dehydration and coma: Once your doctor spots the early signs, he may send you to the hospital. You’ll get an IV to replace lost fluids and electrolytes such as potassium. And you’ll get insulin or other medication to control your blood sugar. The coma can lead to death if left untreated. Take these simple steps to help protect yourself: Check your blood sugar regularly, as your doctor recommends. Know your target blood sugar ranges and what to do if the readings are too high. Plan how often to check your blood sugar when you’re sick. Take extra care of yourself if you’re ill. Continue reading >>
Diabetes With Coma In Dogs
Diabetes Mellitus with Hyperosmolar Coma in Dogs The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen, near the stomach. Under normal circumstances, the pancreas makes insulin, a polypeptide hormone that helps to control blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body. When a dog eats food, its blood sugar rises in accordance with the sugars in the food (whether they are natural sugars or not). The pancreas then makes insulin to lower the blood sugar levels to a healthy level. In this way, the other organs in the body are able to absorb and use this sugar for energy. In the case of diabetes mellitus, the pancreas is not capable of making enough insulin. When this happens, the blood sugar level remains too high, a condition defined as hyperglycemia. A dog's body responds to high blood sugar in several ways. First, extra urine is produced , causing the dog to urinate more frequently than usual. Because it is urinating a lot more, it will drink a lot more water, too. Eventually, your dog will be at risk for becoming dehydrated because of the excess urination. Because insulin helps the body to use sugar for energy, lack of insulin also means that the body’s organs will not receive enough energy. This will make your dog feel hungry all the time, and though it will be eating a lot more food, it will not gain weight. If the diabetic condition is not treated early, your dog's blood sugar level will go higher and higher. Because of the excessively elevated glucose level, even more urine will be made and the dog will become dehydrated due to the loss of fluid. This combination of very high blood sugar and dehydration will eventually affect the brain's ability to function normally, leading to depression, seizures and coma. It is rare, however, since symptoms will often warrant a visit to th Continue reading >>