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How High Does Your Blood Sugar Have To Be Before You Go Into A Coma?

Diabetes: Safety Alerts And Emergencies

Diabetes: Safety Alerts And Emergencies

Diabetes is a slow, steady illness that can turn serious very quickly. If you have diabetes, you should prepare yourself for a diabetic emergency. In a way, you're like a person living on a fault line who plans ahead for an earthquake. But you have an advantage: Instead of just preparing for a possible disaster, you can take steps to prevent it. Your doctor can tell you if you are at risk for a diabetic emergency. If you're in danger, you'll have to learn how to minimize the risks and how to respond to the worst-case scenario. For starters, you should wear an alert bracelet or other form of I.D. that will inform medical personnel of your condition. You should also set aside a stash of extra diabetes supplies in your home in case you can't make your regular shopping trips because of a blackout, flood, blizzard, or some other unforeseen problem. Items you may want to consider for your emergency pack include a cooler or other cold storage container with pre-made ice for keeping insulin and other supplies in case of an electrical outage; emergency glucose to treat hypoglycemia; a spare battery for your glucose test meter; canned food and several gallons of bottled water; flashlights and extra batteries; candles and matches; and, if you take insulin, extra insulin, syringes, lancets, blood test strips, and (if necessary) insulin pump supplies, according to the association Children with Diabetes. Common emergencies Extreme high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) Read about how to prepare for the most common diabetes emergencies: Like everyone else with diabetes, you have days when your blood sugar is a little higher than you'd like it to be. Usually, you can bring the levels back down with a little more exercise, a little less food, or a small change in medications (as directed by a Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergency

Diabetic Emergency

Diabetes is a lifelong medical condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin. Insulin is a chemical made by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach), which regulates the blood sugar (glucose) level in the body. Normally our bodies automatically keep the right blood sugar levels, but for someone with diabetes their body can't. Instead, they have to control the blood sugar level themselves by monitoring what they eat, and taking insulin injections or pills. There are two types of diabetes: Type1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, and Type 2, also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Sometimes people who have diabetes may have a diabetic emergency, where their blood sugar becomes either too high or too low. Both conditions are potentially serious and may need treatment in hospital. Watch our video - diabetic emergency Hyperglycaemia Too little insulin can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia). If it’s not treated and gets worse, the person can gradually become unresponsive (going into a diabetic coma). So it's important to get them to see a doctor in case they need emergency treatment. Hypoglycaemia Too much insulin can cause low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia (hypo). This often happens when someone with diabetes misses a meal or does too much exercise. It can also happen after someone has had an epileptic seizure or has been binge drinking. If someone knows they are diabetic, they may recognise the start of a hypo attack, but without help they may quickly become weak and unresponsive. What to look for - Diabetic emergency If you think someone is having a diabetic emergency, you need to check against the symptoms listed below to decide if their blood sugar is too high or too low. High blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) • Warm, dry skin • Rapid pulse and breathin Continue reading >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>

Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia

Description Mainly two hormones, insulin and glucagon, control the blood glucose level. Cortisol, growth hormone, adrenaline and noradrenaline also influence blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar level is high, the pancreas secretes insulin. When the blood sugar level is low, the liver releases glycogen in order to bring the blood sugar level back to normal. The normal range for blood sugar is approximately 3.5 millimol per litre (mmol/l) to 6.5 mmol/l, depending on when the person last had a meal. Blood sugar can sometimes fall below 3.5 mmol/l to as low as 2.9 mmol/l without this being an indication of a serious disease. However, blood sugar levels below 2.5 mmol/l nearly always indicate a serious abnormality. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia occur at different blood glucose levels in different people. Glucose is a form of sugar and the body’s main fuel. Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) occurs when the levels of glucose in the blood drop too low to provide fuel for the body’s activities. The term ‘blood sugar’ is derived from the fact that glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion. The body’s main dietary sources of glucose are carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Cause A complication of diabetes is the most common cause of hypoglycaemia, namely when a diabetic takes too much oral medication, too much insulin, misses or delays meals, miscalculates the amount of food needed for the amount of insulin administered, takes too much exercise or drinks alcohol. Other causes include: Drug-induced hypoglycaemia Intentional overdose of insulin or other medicine used to lower blood glucose – alcohol and quinine (used in some antimalarial drugs) can lead to hypoglyceamia. Pre-diabetes Liver disease Surgical removal of the stomach Tumours that release too mu 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 >>

A Silent Danger: When Blood Sugar Goes Down While You Were Sleeping

A Silent Danger: When Blood Sugar Goes Down While You Were Sleeping

You've heard it before—how taking a snack at nighttime after dinner may not be such a good idea, what with the weight gain that may come with it. But if you're a diabetic, that nighttime snack may spell the difference between life and death—literally. “The absence of a nighttime snack when one is usually taken is one cause of nocturnal hypoglycemia,” said Dr. Richard Elwyn Fernando, president of Diabetes Philippines and consultant at St. Luke's Medical Center and Capitol Medical Center. Nocturnal hypoglycemia, as the name implies, happens at night. “It occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 4 millimoles per liter (mmol/l) or 72 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). At 40 mg/dl or below, a person can be comatose... In rare cases, it may lead to death,” Fernando said during a media briefing organized by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk last May 27. What makes it dangerous is that the person, being asleep, is not aware of what is happening and is not able to seek help. This poses a real concern for diabetics and their families, said Fernando. In a previous interview, former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the body needs glucose to function well. “Kailangan ng katawan ang sugar for energy, metabolism,” she told GMA News. When the blood sugar drops to low levels, a person may experience dizziness, weakness and even fainting, Cabral said. There may also be confusion and disorientation. Fernando said hypoglycemia may lead to complications affecting the heart (decreased heart rate, decreased cardiac output, myocardial contractility), blood vessels (stroke, myocardial infarction, acute cardiac failure, ventricular arrythmia), and brain (seizures, convulsions, coma). While hypoglycemia may occur in both diabetics and non-diabetics alike—“kapag gutom Continue reading >>

This Is How Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar In Folks With Diabetes

This Is How Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar In Folks With Diabetes

One of the many burdens that someone with diabetes has to suffer with is the task of constantly monitoring their blood sugar levels. For some people, this means pricking their finger every hour to test their blood for normal levels of glucose. For others, it means employing the help of a Diabetic Alert Dog to assist with this daunting task. A Diabetic Alert Dog is highly trained to alert someone with diabetes when their glucose levels fall out of a normal range. Source: lukeandjedi Through practice a Diabetic Alert Dog can learn to detect dropping or rising glucose levels 30 minutes before their handler experiences any symptoms. This allows a diabetic person enough time to check their glucose levels and take the steps necessary to avoid serious complications. Some Diabetic Alert Dogs are also trained to get help or retrieve medical supplies. Source: diabeticalertdog Diabetic Alert Dog can be especially helpful during situations where it’s difficult for someone to check their blood sugar with a medical device (i.e. during sleep, a business meeting, exercise, or while driving). Many people that suffer from diabetes have to wake up several times a night and check their blood sugar levels or they might go into a diabetic coma while they are sleeping. Source: service_dog_thunder So how are these amazing dog’s trained? The training for a Diabetic Alert Dog varies depending on the organization or trainer. The most highly trained Service Dogs are bred for the job and are trained from birth until they are around 18 months of age (sometimes more). Some organizations however aren’t breed specific and will train any dog with a strong nose and a willingness to work. Source: diabeticalertdog All Service Dog training begins with socialization and obedience training. During socia Continue reading >>

Insulinoma

Insulinoma

What is an insulinoma? The pancreas makes insulin, which helps keep your blood sugar level balanced. Tumors on your pancreas, called insulinomas, make extra insulin, more than your body can use. This causes blood sugar levels to drop too low. These tumors are rare and usually do not spread to other parts of your body. What causes an insulinoma? The cause of insulinomas is unknown. What are the risk factors for an insulinoma? There are few risk factors for insulinomas. But, women seem to be affected more often than men. Most often, it starts between ages 40 and 60. Some genetic diseases can raise your chance of getting an insulinoma. They are: Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, abnormal tissue growth in the endocrine system Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, an inherited disease that causes tumors and cysts throughout your body Other genetic syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and tuberous sclerosis What are the symptoms of an insulinoma? Insulinomas can cause these symptoms: Confusion Sweating Weakness Rapid heartbeat If your blood sugar gets too low, you can pass out and even go into a coma. How are insulinomas diagnosed? Insulinomas can be difficult to diagnose. The average time between the start of symptoms and a diagnosis is about 3 years. If your healthcare provider suspects an insulinoma, you may stay in the hospital for a few days. This is so your doctor can watch your blood sugar and other substances in your blood while you fast. You will not be able to eat or drink anything except water during this time. If you have an insulinoma, you will probably have very low blood sugar levels within 48 hours of starting this test. If your symptoms of low blood sugar have been after meals, you may also have a test of your blood sugar and insulin for several hours after a Continue reading >>

The Danger Of Diabetic Shock

The Danger Of Diabetic Shock

One of the most important things diabetics must learn about their disease is the danger of diabetic shock. Sufferers of diabetes 1 and 2 know all-to-well the dangers of excess sugar, but dangerously low levels of blood sugar can affect diabetics just as profoundly. One of those profound effects of low blood sugar is diabetic or insulin shock. If left unrecognized or untreated, its symptoms are severe and may even lead to death. Diabetic Shock: What Causes It? Insulin shock is the direct result of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) in diabetics — especially those who are receiving treatment with insulin or other diabetes medication. Low blood sugar for a diabetic is anything below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) as red on a blood sugar meter. When blood sugar levels are this low, the body starts to show signs of distress. In diabetics, there can be many reasons why their blood sugar may drop low enough to cause insulin shock. The most common cause of these blood sugar dips is skipped meals. But diabetics may also suffer low blood sugar if they take too much diabetes medication (insulin or pills) or when they exercise in excess of their normal routine. Diabetic Shock: Symptoms Diabetic shock signs may vary from mild to moderate. Mild symptoms often include a shaky or weak feeling that comes on quickly out of nowhere. Sufferers may also experience a racing heart or a tingling feeling in their tongue or fingertips. Or, they may break out in a sweat. More moderate symptoms may also cause neuroglycopenia. These symptoms largely affect the brain. Sufferers may feel anxious, moody or severely depressed for no discernible reason. Their personalities may change abruptly, or their moods may switch from one extreme to the next. Neuroglycopenia may also cause confusion, slu Continue reading >>

Pregnancy And Diabetes

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 >>

Preparing For Severe Low Blood Sugar May Protect Moments Like This.

Preparing For Severe Low Blood Sugar May Protect Moments Like This.

What Is Glucagon? Glucagon is a medicine that’s different from insulin. It’s used to treat severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Glucagon works by telling your body to release sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream to bring the blood sugar level back up. Sometimes, if you miss a meal, exercise too much, or don’t eat enough food for the amount of insulin you’ve taken, it can lead to low blood sugar. If not treated quickly, mild or moderate low blood sugar can become severe. In these cases, if you are physically unable to eat or drink a quick source of sugar, you may lose consciousness. When this happens, you’ll need a Glucagon emergency kit. Giving a Glucagon shot can be scary, but it’s very important to recognize the symptoms of severe low blood sugar and be ready to use Glucagon. Take a moment to become familiar with your Glucagon kit—it’s small and portable and houses all the items needed to administer Glucagon in a bright red case. It’s a good idea to open the case and look at the contents. You and anyone who may need to help you with severe low blood sugar treatment should also know how to use Glucagon before an emergency arises. Be sure to read the Information for the User provided in the kit. Treating Severe Low Blood Sugar A key to managing an episode of severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is to be prepared. If not treated quickly, mild or moderate low blood sugar can become severe. Severe low blood sugar is very serious. If it happens, loss of consciousness may occur and you may be physically unable to eat or drink a rapid-acting source of sugar (glucose). If you need a Glucagon shot, a family member, friend, or another adult will need to be ready to give it to you. Make sure that your relatives and close friends know that if you become uncons Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from dehydration during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar level and organic acids called ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body's chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in any person with diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before age 25 years, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in this age group, but it may occur at any age. Males and females are equally affected. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. As the body produces a stress response, hormones (unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency) begin to break down muscle, fat, and liver cells into glucose (sugar) and fatty acids for use as fuel. These hormones include glucagon, growth hormone, and adrenaline. These fatty acids are converted to ketones by a process called oxidation. The body consumes its own muscle, fat, and liver cells for fuel. In diabetic ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). The resulting increase in blood sugar occurs, because insulin is unavailable to transport sugar into cells for future use. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. Commonly, about 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. Significant loss of potassium and other salts in the excessive urination is also common. The most common Continue reading >>

What Type 2s Can Do When Blood Sugar Soars

What Type 2s Can Do When Blood Sugar Soars

The emergency condition most type 2s dread is hypoglycemia, where plummeting blood sugar levels can bring on a dangerous semi-conscious state, and even coma or death. However, hyperglycemia, high-blood sugar levels consistently above 240 mg/dL, can be just as dangerous. Left untreated, at its most extreme high-blood sugar, can induce ketoacidosis, the build-up of toxic-acid ketones in the blood and urine. It can also bring on nausea, weakness, fruity-smelling breath, shortness of breath, and, as with hypoglycemia, coma. However, once they’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, most type 2s have taken steps to prevent or lessen the most dangerous effects of high-blood sugar levels. Their concern shifts to dealing with unexpected, sometimes alarming spikes in blood sugar levels. The symptoms of those spikes are the classic ones we associate with the onset of diabetes—unquenchable thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, weight loss, and headaches. When you do spike, what can you do right away to bring blood sugar levels down? Immediate Steps You Can Take: 1. Insulin—If you are on an insulin regimen; a bolus injection should drive numbers down fairly rapidly. 2. If you are not on insulin or don’t use fast-acting insulin, taking a brisk walk or bike ride works for most people to start bringing their numbers down. 3. Stay hydrated. Hyperglycemic bodies want to shed excess sugar, leading to frequent urination and dehydration. You need to drink water steadily until your numbers drop. 4. Curb your carb intake. It does not matter how complex the carbs in your diet are, your body still converts them to glucose at some point. Slacking off on carb consumption is a trackable maneuver that lets you better understand how to control your numbers. Preventative Steps: These are extensions Continue reading >>

What's It Like: To Suffer A Diabetic Coma

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 >>

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 >>

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