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Diabetic Coma Symptoms

Diabetic Coma Symptoms

A diabetic coma is one of the most life-threatening complications of diabetes. The main symptom is unconsciousness. A diabetic coma can be the result of having a blood glucose level that is too high (hyperglycemia) or a blood glucose level that is too low (hypoglycemia). The diabetic in a diabetic coma is unconscious and can die if the condition is not treated. Symptoms of Diabetic Coma Before you lapse into a diabetic coma, there are usually warning signs of blood sugar levels that are too low or blood sugar levels that are too high. For example, if the blood sugar is too high, the you may experience tiredness, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, increased urination, increased thirst, a rapid heart rate, a dry mouth, and a fruity smell to your breath. If the blood sugar is too low, you may experience signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, including weakness, tiredness, anxiety, tremulousness, nervousness, nausea, confusion, problems communicating, light-headedness, hunger, or dizziness. If you have had diabetes for many years, you may not have many symptoms of low blood sugar and won’t know you have the condition prior to falling into a coma. If you suspect that you have either high blood sugar or low blood sugar, you need to check your blood glucose levels and do what your doctor has recommended for you to treat the disease. If you don’t feel better after trying home remedies, you need to call 911 and get some kind of emergency care. Causes of Diabetic Coma The main cause of a diabetic coma is an extremely high blood sugar or an extremely low blood sugar. The following medical conditions can cause a diabetic coma: Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. This is a condition in which the blood sugar is as high as 600 mg/d: or 33.3 mmol per liter. There are no ketones in the u Continue reading >>

Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia, sometimes called a hypo or low, is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose level (BGL) has dropped too low, below 4mmol/L. It is important to treat a hypo quickly to stop the BGL from falling even lower and the person becoming seriously unwell. Hypoglycaemia can make it hard to concentrate and carry out everyday activities. Some activities, such as driving and operating machinery, are not safe if BGLs are less than 5.0mmol/L. Hypoglycaemia is much more common in people who take insulin or certain other glucose lowering tablets, however it can occur in people with diabetes who are not using insulin. Hypoglycaemia can be caused by one or a number of events, such as: Too much insulin or other glucose lowering diabetes tablets Delaying or missing a meal Not eating enough carbohydrate Unplanned physical activity* More strenuous exercise than usual* Drinking alcohol - the risk of hypoglycaemia increases, the more alcohol you drink *Hypoglycaemia may be delayed for 12 hours or more after exercise Symptoms of hypoglycaemia vary from person to person. Early signs and symptoms may include: Shaking, trembling or weakness Sweating Paleness Hunger Light headedness Headache Dizziness Pins and needles around mouth Mood change If the BGL continues to drop, more serious signs and symptoms may occur. Later signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia may include: Lack of concentration/ behaviour change Confusion Slurred speech Not able to treat own hypo Not able to drink or swallow Not able to follow instructions Loss of consciousness Fitting/seizures Hypoglycaemia can be classified as mild or severe. A mild hypo occurs when a person can treat their own hypo. A severe hypo occurs when a person needs help from someone else to treat their hypo. What should I do if I s Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma

Diabetic Coma

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 >>

Low Blood Sugar: Causes, Warning Signs And Treatments

Low Blood Sugar: Causes, Warning Signs And Treatments

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is the most common and most dangerous condition for many people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Very low blood sugar may lead to insulin shock, which can be life threatening if not treated promptly. Low blood sugar occurs when the body has too little food/glucose or too much insulin. The following are all potential reasons that a person with diabetes might have low blood sugar: Too much insulin taken Eating less than usual Eating later than usual Insulin was injected at a site on the body where the absorption rate is faster than usual Injecting extra insulin after forgetting about a previous dose More exercise than normal Illness or injury Other hormones Medication interaction The following is a list of general symptoms that indicate low blood sugar (the person with T1D may exhibit one or more of these and symptoms may change from event to event) Dizziness Nervousness Personality change/irrational behavior Blurry vision Shakiness Nausea Crying Sluggishness Sweating Poor coordination Hunger Lightheadedness Irritability Drowsiness Erratic response to questions Inability to concentrate Severe symptoms (symptoms as listed above, plus): Convulsions or seizure Loss of consciousness A blood-glucose meter reading below the target range specified by the physician indicates low blood sugar. The following are general treatments for low blood sugar. The physician and parents (for a child) should determine what course to follow. Please note that people with T1D have symptoms of low blood sugar at various readings. Some people with T1D feel perfectly fine at readings below 70. Others begin to show low blood-sugar symptoms at readings somewhat above 70. If blood-sugar levels are slightly low and the person is alert and lucid, he or she should: Not exercis Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Recovery From Diabetic Coma

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 >>

Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to move glucose into cells where it is stored or used for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells. This leads to symptoms of diabetes. Low blood sugar occurs due to any of the following: Your body's sugar (glucose) is used up too quickly Glucose production by the body is too low or it is released into the bloodstream too slowly Too much insulin is in the bloodstream Low blood sugar is common in people with diabetes who are taking insulin or certain other medicines to control their diabetes. However, many other diabetes medicines do not cause low blood sugar. Exercise can also lead to low blood sugar in people taking insulin to treat their diabetes. Babies born to mothers with diabetes may have severe drops in blood sugar right after birth. In people who do not have diabetes, low blood sugar may be caused by: Drinking alcohol Insulinoma, which is a rare tumor in the pancreas that produces too much insulin Lack of a hormone, such as cortisol, growth hormone, or thyroid hormone Severe heart, kidney, or liver failure Infection that affects the whole body (sepsis) Some types of weight-loss surgery (usually 5 or more years after the surgery) Medicines not used to treat diabetes (certain antibiotics or heart drugs) Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergencies: Warning Signs And Steps To Save Someone’s Life

Diabetic Emergencies: Warning Signs And Steps To Save Someone’s Life

A diabetic can develop hyperglycemia (raised blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Giving sugar will be lifesaving if blood sugar is low, and is unlikely to do harm if sugar levels are raised. Diabetics usually know how to control their condition, but even people who’ve had diabetes for years or decades may be susceptible to an attack. Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) Symptoms: This can occur if the blood sugar-insulin balance is incorrect. A person with diabetes often recognizes the warning signs: Feels shaky and weak Skin is pale and feels cold and clammy Confused, irritable, and behaving irrationally Rapid, but full and pounding pulse; patient may tell you that his heart is pounding Patient will quickly lose consciousness if he is not given some sugar If you know a patient has diabetes and he fails to respond to sugar or his condition begins to worsen, call for medical help immediately. A person recently diagnosed with diabetes is more susceptible to a “hypo” attack, especially while he is becoming used to balancing his sugar-insulin levels. What to Do for Hypoglycemia 1. Sit patient down. Reassure him and help him to sit down on a chair or on the floor if he is feeling faint. 2. Give sugar. If the patient is fully conscious and alert, give him a sugary drink, such as fruit juice, or some glucose tablets. People with diabetes often carry a dose of glucose concentrate or have some sugary food on hand as a precaution. 3. Check response. If the patient improves quickly after eating or drinking something, follow this with some slower-release carbohydrate food, such as a cereal bar, a sandwich, a piece of fruit, biscuits and milk, or the next meal if the timing is right. 4. Find medication. Help the patient find his glucose testing kit and medication and let Continue reading >>

The Unconscious Diabetic

The Unconscious Diabetic

Abstract A rapid accurate diagnosis is essential when faced with a patient in diabetic coma. This article describes differential diagnoses, gives a flow chart of procedures to follow in diabetic coma, outlines methods of therapy and warns against the pitfalls attendant upon this condition. Full text Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (637K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References. These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article. Articles from Canadian Family Physician are provided here courtesy of College of Family Physicians of Canada Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma

Diabetic Coma

The three types of diabetic coma include diabetic ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycaemic coma. Diabetic coma is a medical emergency and needs prompt medical treatment. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels may lead to hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia. Low or persistently high blood glucose levels mean your diabetes treatment needs to be adjusted. Speak to your doctor or registered diabetes healthcare professional. Prevention is always the best strategy. If it is a while since you have had diabetes education, make an appointment with your diabetes educator for a review. On this page: Diabetes mellitus is a condition characterised by high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to a diabetic coma or unconsciousness. The three types of coma associated with diabetes are diabetic ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycaemic coma. Diabetic ketoacidosis coma Diabetic ketoacidosis typically occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, which was previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), though it can occasionally occur in type 2 diabetes. This type of coma is triggered by the build-up of chemicals called ketones. Ketones are strongly acidic and cause the blood to become too acidic. When there is not enough insulin circulating, the body cannot use glucose for energy. Instead, fat is broken down and then converted to ketones in the liver. The ketones can build up excessively when insulin levels remain too low. Common causes of ketoacidosis include a missed dose of insulin or an acute infection in a person with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis may be the first sign that a person has developed type 1 diabetes. Symptoms of ketoacidosis Symptoms of ketoacidosis are: extreme thirst lethargy frequent urination ( Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma

Diabetic Coma

Diabetic coma is a reversible form of coma found in people with diabetes mellitus. It is a medical emergency.[1] Three different types of diabetic coma are identified: Severe low blood sugar in a diabetic person Diabetic ketoacidosis (usually type 1) advanced enough to result in unconsciousness from a combination of a severely increased blood sugar level, dehydration and shock, and exhaustion Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (usually type 2) in which an extremely high blood sugar level 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 they have 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 them 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. Types[edit] Severe hypoglycemia[edit] People with type 1 diabetes mellitus who must take insulin in full replacement doses are most vulnerable to episodes of hypoglycemia. It is usually mild enough to reverse by eating or drinking carbohydrates, but blood glucose occasionally can fall fast enough and low enough to produce unconsciousness before hypoglycemia can be recognized and reversed. Hypoglycemia can be severe enough to cause un Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergencies

Diabetic Emergencies

Tweet Diabetes can become serious in the short term if blood sugar levels become either too high or too low. The following information details what to do in an emergency. This covers low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), very high blood sugar (diabetic ketoacidosis) and what to do if you are left without your diabetes medication and/or supplies. What counts as a diabetic emergency? It can be a difficult area sometimes to know what counts as a genuine emergency. News reports in recent years have highlighted that a significant number of ‘999’ ambulance call-outs have not been necessary - for example to treat mild hypoglycemia which, in some cases, has been successfully treated befor e the ambulance has arrived. This isn’t to say that conditions, such as hypoglycemia, are not dangerous but that it’s important to know when a situation really is an emergency so that an ambulance is not unnecessarily called. When should I call an ambulance? An ambulance will be needed if someone has either very high or very low blood sugar levels that presents an immediate danger and neither they nor anyone around is confidently able to treat them. Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome are both life threatening conditions. Hypoglycemia can also be life threatening in some cases. Someone with diabetes that is unconscious is one of the situations in which you should call for an ambulance. If you have doubts about whether the situation is serious enough to warrant an ambulance, call 111. Severe hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia can become dangerous if it is not treated quickly, particularly if it is a result of an insulin overdose. Severe hypoglycemia is generally recognised as hypoglycemia involving: Convulsions (fitting) Unconsciousness Hypoglycemia can often be treated at Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma And Type 2 Diabetes

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 >>

Diabetic Coma Treatments

Diabetic Coma Treatments

Diabetic coma is a condition that poses a dangerous threat to individuals with diabetes. Treatment is more effective the earlier it is started but depends on the cause of the coma as this defines which type of diabetic coma a patient has. The three causes of diabetic coma are severe hypolgycemia or lowering of the blood sugar level, diabetic ketoacidosis which causes high blood glucose levels, and hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state which also causes raised blood glucose. Therefore, when a diabetic patient is unconscious, the first action taken is blood sugar testing. If the cause is hypoglycemia, treatment is aimed at raising the blood sugar levels, whereas it is aimed at reducing the blood sugar with either of the other two conditions. Treatment Severe hypoglycemia If the blood sugar levels in the blood and brain drop to below normal, the risk of losing consciousness and falling into a diabetic coma is increased. Coma due to severe hypoglycemia is more likely to occur if a patient has taken a large overdose of insulin or other anti-diabetic medications, if alcohol is present in the system while the patient is hypoglycemic or if exercise has reduced the body's supply of glycogen. Glucagon may be administered to treat hypoglycemia. In healthy individuals, a fall in blood sugar is compensated for by the release of glucagon, which increases blood sugar levels. However, in the diabetic individual, this reaction fails to occur and exogenous glucagon needs to be administered. As an immediate measure, glucose rich foods such as glucose biscuits may be eaten or an injection of glucose solution may be administered. People with diabetes are advised to carry glucose biscuits with them to eat and counteract hypoglycemia as soon as symptoms manifest. Diabetic ketoacidosis This is mor Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know

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 >>

Treating Hypoglycemia If You Are Unconcious

Treating Hypoglycemia If You Are Unconcious

Hypoglycemia is not the only cause of loss of consciousness. Stroke, heart attack, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and even a bump on the head can render you unconscious. In fact, very high blood sugar (above 400 mg/dl) over several days, especially in a dehydrated individual, can also cause loss of consciousness. We will assume, however, that if you are carefully observing the treatment guidelines of this book, you will not allow such prolonged blood sugar elevation to occur. If you’re found unconscious by someone who knows how to rapidly check your blood sugar, a measurement may be made. Treatment should not be delayed, however, while people are scampering about trying to find your testing supplies. The treatment under these conditions is injection of glucagon, a hormone that rapidly raises blood sugar by causing the liver and muscles to convert stored glycogen to glucose. It is imperative, therefore, that those who live with you know how to give an injection. If you use insulin, you can give them some practice by teaching them how to give you insulin injections. Glucagon is sold in pharmacies in many countries as the Glucagon Emergency Kit. This consists of a small plastic box containing a syringe filled with an inert waterlike solution and a little vial of white powder (glucagon). The kit also contains an illustrated instruction sheet that your family should read before an emergency develops. The user injects the water into the vial, withdraws the needle, shakes the vial to dissolve the powder in the water, and draws the solution back into the syringe. The tip of the long needle must be submerged in the liquid. For adults, the entire contents of the syringe should be injected, either intramuscularly or subcutaneously; lesser amounts should be used for small child Continue reading >>

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