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 >>
How To Help Someone In A Coma
Author's Sidebar: Every once in a while, I'll get a phone call or an email message from a person, who has a relative in the hospital in a diabetic coma. I can usually tell by the tone in their voice that they are desperate, afraid and uncertain what to do. These types of phone calls are difficult, because there's nothing that I can do to help them. Usually, I suggest that the person make sure that they share as much information that they can about the person's health with the doctors and nurses. The more that you know about the person's health, the better it can help the doctors understand what is happening. Another thing that I usually suggest is to keep a notebook or journal of what's going on and ask questions, but be respectful to the medical staff. Use the notebook for taking notes when the doctors tell you things about the patient's condition, etc. Otherwise, you will never remember what was said to relay to other family members. When a large family is involved it gets tiring to keep repeating the same information -- so they can read your notebook. Also, write down all the pertinent phone numbers and emails of people who would need to be contacted when changes in condition occur. There are usually a lot of people who want this information and having email addresses makes it easier than trying to call everyone. Keeping notes is also a good way to keep busy. A journal may not only serve as a method for coping with grief, it may also be helpful for the patient when they come out of the coma -- to realize what happened to them. If the person has a smartphone or similar device, usually I'll suggest that they google phrases like "diabetic coma" to better understand what is going on. If the hospital allows it, bring a small CD player or tape player and play some of the p 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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What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a buildup of acids in your blood. It can happen when your blood sugar is too high for too long. It could be life-threatening, but it usually takes many hours to become that serious. You can treat it and prevent it, too. It usually happens because your body doesn't have enough insulin. Your cells can't use the sugar in your blood for energy, so they use fat for fuel instead. Burning fat makes acids called ketones and, if the process goes on for a while, they could build up in your blood. That excess can change the chemical balance of your blood and throw off your entire system. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for ketoacidosis, since their bodies don't make any insulin. Your ketones can also go up when you miss a meal, you're sick or stressed, or you have an insulin reaction. DKA can happen to people with type 2 diabetes, but it's rare. If you have type 2, especially when you're older, you're more likely to have a condition with some similar symptoms called HHNS (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome). It can lead to severe dehydration. Test your ketones when your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dL or you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as dry mouth, feeling really thirsty, or peeing a lot. You can check your levels with a urine test strip. Some glucose meters measure ketones, too. Try to bring your blood sugar down, and check your ketones again in 30 minutes. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if that doesn't work, if you have any of the symptoms below and your ketones aren't normal, or if you have more than one symptom. You've been throwing up for more than 2 hours. You feel queasy or your belly hurts. Your breath smells fruity. You're tired, confused, or woozy. You're having a hard time breathing. Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Coma.
Abstract DKA-hyperosmolar coma is a readily diagnosed and easily treated, potentially catastrophic emergency that regularly occurs in both Type I and Type II diabetics. This review emphasized that diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar coma can, and very frequently do, occur concurrently, but it is the hyperosmolar state rather than the DKA that is the primary cause of coma and death in this condition. One must therefore vigorously treat the hyperosmolarity and resulting dehydration, especially when total calculated osmolarity exceeds 230 to 240 mOsm/L. The major aim of treatment is to rapidly replace the major water loss that is responsible for this clinical condition and to stimulate glucose metabolism with insulin. The diagnosis of this dangerous condition is relatively simple. The therapy, in most regards, is equally apparent. There are good data demonstrating that the prompt recognition of DKA-hyperosmolar coma and the simple institution of rapid rehydration have continued to reduce the mortality and complications of this potentially disastrous complication of diabetes mellitus. Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma Different From Insulin Shock, Role Of Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia Crucial
The role of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are crucial in diabetic coma. A diabetic coma is a complication of diabetes that leads to unconsciousness. A diabetic coma can result from both hyperglycemia – high blood sugar – or hypoglycemia – low blood sugar. A person in a diabetic coma is still alive, but they do not respond to light, sound, touch or any stimulation. If left untreated a diabetic coma can be fatal. A diabetic coma can be confused with an insulin shock, but although the two may appear similar, they do contain their own unique differences. Diabetic coma vs. insulin shock Insulin shock is the body’s reaction to a drop in blood sugar – or hypoglycemia – as a result of too much insulin. Even though the condition is called insulin shock, there is no shock involved and insulin isn’t the main culprit. Even people without diabetes can experience insulin shock if their blood sugar drops low enough. The condition is called a shock because it makes the body react similarly to when blood pressure drops – a fight or flight response. Symptoms of insulin shock are fast breathing, rapid pulse, dizziness, headache, numbness and hunger. Diabetic coma, on the other hand, causes unconsciousness that can occur over the course of days or even weeks and also cause dehydration. Although both conditions must be treated immediately, diabetic coma can be fatal. Causes of diabetic coma There are various causes of diabetic coma, including diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, and hypoglycemia. Diabetic ketoacidosis: This is a condition where muscles become starved for energy, so the body begins breaking down fat from storage. This forms a toxin known as ketones and, if untreated, can contribute to diabetic coma. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome: Diabetic Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Having diabetes means that there is too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. When you eat food, your body breaks down much of the food into glucose. Your blood carries the glucose to the cells of your body. An organ in your upper belly, called the pancreas, makes and releases a hormone called insulin when it detects glucose. Your body uses insulin to help move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. When your body does not make insulin (type 1 diabetes), or has trouble using insulin (type 2 diabetes), glucose cannot get into your cells. The glucose level in your blood goes up. Too much glucose in your blood (also called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar) can cause many problems. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for a problem called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It is very rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA happens when your body does not have enough insulin to move glucose into your cells, and your body begins to burn fat for energy. The burning of fats causes a build-up of dangerous levels of ketones in the blood. At the same time, sugar also builds up in the blood. DKA is an emergency that must be treated right away. If it is not treated right away, it can cause coma or death. What can I expect in the hospital? You will need to stay in the hospital in order to bring your blood sugar level under control and treat the cause of the DKA. Several things may be done while you are in the hospital to monitor, test, and treat your condition. They include: Monitoring You will be checked often by the hospital staff. You may have fingersticks to check your blood sugar regularly. This may be done as often as every hour. You will learn how to check your blood sugar level in order to manage your diabetes when you go home. A heart (cardiac) monitor may Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome
In Brief Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome (HHS) are two acute complications of diabetes that can result in increased morbidity and mortality if not efficiently and effectively treated. Mortality rates are 2–5% for DKA and 15% for HHS, and mortality is usually a consequence of the underlying precipitating cause(s) rather than a result of the metabolic changes of hyperglycemia. Effective standardized treatment protocols, as well as prompt identification and treatment of the precipitating cause, are important factors affecting outcome. The two most common life-threatening complications of diabetes mellitus include diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS). Although there are important differences in their pathogenesis, the basic underlying mechanism for both disorders is a reduction in the net effective concentration of circulating insulin coupled with a concomitant elevation of counterregulatory hormones (glucagon, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone). These hyperglycemic emergencies continue to be important causes of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes. DKA is reported to be responsible for more than 100,000 hospital admissions per year in the United States1 and accounts for 4–9% of all hospital discharge summaries among patients with diabetes.1 The incidence of HHS is lower than DKA and accounts for <1% of all primary diabetic admissions.1 Most patients with DKA have type 1 diabetes; however, patients with type 2 diabetes are also at risk during the catabolic stress of acute illness.2 Contrary to popular belief, DKA is more common in adults than in children.1 In community-based studies, more than 40% of African-American patients with DKA were >40 years of age and more than 2 Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State
The hallmark of diabetes is a raised plasma glucose resulting from an absolute or relative lack of insulin action. Untreated, this can lead to two distinct yet overlapping life-threatening emergencies. Near-complete lack of insulin will result in diabetic ketoacidosis, which is therefore more characteristic of type 1 diabetes, whereas partial insulin deficiency will suppress hepatic ketogenesis but not hepatic glucose output, resulting in hyperglycaemia and dehydration, and culminating in the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state. Hyperglycaemia is characteristic of diabetic ketoacidosis, particularly in the previously undiagnosed, but it is the acidosis and the associated electrolyte disorders that make this a life-threatening condition. Hyperglycaemia is the dominant feature of the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state, causing severe polyuria and fluid loss and leading to cellular dehydration. Progression from uncontrolled diabetes to a metabolic emergency may result from unrecognised diabetes, sometimes aggravated by glucose containing drinks, or metabolic stress due to infection or intercurrent illness and associated with increased levels of counter-regulatory hormones. Since diabetic ketoacidosis and the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state have a similar underlying pathophysiology the principles of treatment are similar (but not identical), and the conditions may be considered two extremes of a spectrum of disease, with individual patients often showing aspects of both. Pathogenesis of DKA and HHS Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone which helps nutrients to enter the cells, where these nutrients can be used either as fuel or as building blocks for cell growth and expansion. The complementary action of insulin is to antagonise the breakdown of fuel stores. Thus, the relea 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 >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, is a serious health problem that can happen to a person with diabetes. It happens when chemicals called ketones build up in the blood. Normally, the cells of your body take in and use glucose as a source of energy. Glucose moves through the body in the bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells take in the glucose from the blood. If you have diabetes, your cells can’t take in and use this glucose in a normal way. This may be because your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Or it may be because your cells don’t respond to it normally. As a result, glucose builds up in your bloodstream and doesn’t reach your cells. Without glucose to use, the cells in your body burn fat instead of glucose for energy. When cells burn fat, they make ketones. High levels of ketones can poison the body. High levels of glucose can also build up in your blood and cause other symptoms. Ketoacidosis also changes the amount of other substances in your blood. These include electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate. This can lead to other problems. Ketoacidosis happens most often in a person with type 1 diabetes. This is a condition where the body does not make enough insulin. In rare cases, ketoacidosis can happen in a person with type 2 diabetes. It can happen when they are under stress, like when they are sick, or when they have taken certain medicines that change how their bodies handle glucose. Diabetic ketoacidosis is pretty common. It is more common in younger people. Women have it more often than men do. What causes diabetic ketoacidosis? High levels of ketones and glucose in your blood can cause ketoacidosis. This might happen if you: Don’t know you have diabetes, and your body is breaking down too much fat Know you have dia Continue reading >>
> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a sugar that comes from foods, and is formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to each through the bloodstream. But even though we need glucose for energy, too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes — it happens when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells to be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. If it's not treated, hyperglycemia can cause serious health problems. Too much sugar in the bloodstream for long periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. And, too much sugar in the bloodstream can cause other types of damage to body tissues, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, they can happen in adulthood in some people, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Blood sugar levels are considered high when they're above someone's target range. The diabetes health care team will let you know what your child's target blood sugar levels are, which will vary based on factors like your child's age. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible. It's a three-way balancing act of: diabetes medicines (such as in Continue reading >>
The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body's cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the energy our cells need to function. People with diabetes can't get glucose into their cells, so their bodies look for alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, and by the time DKA occurs, blood glucose levels are often greater than 22 mmol/L (400 mg/dL) while insulin levels are very low. Since glucose isn't available for cells to use, fat from fat cells is broken down for energy instead, releasing ketones. Ketones accumulate in the blood, causing it to become more acidic. As a result, many of the enzymes that control the body's metabolic processes aren't able Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>