Diabetic Coma Symptoms, What You Need To Know
Diabetic coma symptoms are something we should all be aware of. It is true that type 1 diabetics are more likely to experience them than type 2, but as diabetics are living longer, the chance of experiencing symptoms is greater. One statistic is that up to 15% of diabetics will go into diabetic coma because of severe hypoglycemia. Coma is another word for unconscious. A diabetic is in a coma if he cannot be wakened and can't respond to sounds and sights. It does not mean the person in a coma will die. These days, with swift blood test results and treatment, a diabetic will come out of a coma very fast. Diabetic medical alert bracelets and necklaces keep us from being misdiagnosed as drunk or epileptic when we cannot speak. But just knowing you are a diabetic is not enough. If you are taken to an emergency room, the doctors look for diabetic alert charms. But diabetic coma symptoms still need to be diagnosed correctly so the proper treatment is started, because there are three different types of coma, and the complications of all three are brain damage and death. Oddly, either chronic high blood sugar or sudden low blood sugar can trigger diabetic coma symptoms. That's why it's good to know how we react to both of them. With high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, you feel thirsty and have to urinate more often. You feel fatigue, and there is always nausea and vomiting, often for days. You can feel short of breath and have stomach pain. There is a fruity or acetone smell to your breath and a fast heartbeat. The symptoms are not sudden. But low blood sugar comes on very swiftly and can wake you out of a sound sleep. You feel shaky, nervous, tired and either hungry or nauseated. You sweat a lot and your heart races. You can get irritated and even aggressive for no reason, and Continue reading >>
Fatal Coma In Diabetes.
Abstract Analysis of causes of death in a population of 3,113 diabetics was carried out for a period of eight years and those patients dying of some form of diabetic coma identified. Of 1,274 deaths, only 22 (1.73%) were primarily due to coma; 7 hypoglycaemia, 8 ketoacidosis, 3 hyperosmolar coma and 4 lactic acidosis. Three of the ketoacidosis patients may have died from other causes. Most deaths occurred in patients with long-standing diabetes. In the hypoglycaemic group all were on insulin and several had been difficult to control for many years. Infection was an important precipitating factor for ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar coma. Phenformin was the cause of all cases of fatal lactic acidosis. It is reassuring that death from coma is a comparatively rare event in known treated diabetic patients. 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 >>
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 >>
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 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 Severe hypoglycemia 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 (ketoacidosis And Coma)
The blood glucose (sugar) level is maintained with a narrow range that is sufficient for the cells to have an adequate supply of nutrition for energy production. High glucose levels can damage or even destroy cells over time while low levels will prevent cells from functioning optimally and lead to key systems in the body shutting down. Glucose like all other nutrients are derived from the food we eat. The food is digested and absorbed within the alimentary tract that runs from the mouth to the anus. The stomach and intestines (gastrointestinal tract) are the main sites for digestion and absorption. The nutrients then enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver where it is processed further. Other organs like the pancreas play a role in managing the nutrient levels within the body and its availability to the body’s cells. The pancreas specifically impacts on the blood glucose levels by secreting the hormone insulin which lowers blood glucose levels by promoting the cells to take up more glucose from the bloodstream and stimulating the liver to convert the glucose into other storage forms like glycogen and even fat. What is a diabetic emergency? Diabetes mellitus is a clinical condition which is characterized by high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) due to absolute (type 1 diabetes) or relative (type 2 diabetes) deficiency of insulin. This means that the body lacks insulin, secretes too little insulin or the body cells becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. The elevated blood glucose levels gradually diminishes different cells and organs. Diabetic emergencies can occur due to very high or very low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). They may arise in a person undergoing diabetes treatment but can also occur in new diabetic cases. Types of Diabetic Emergencies 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 >>
Diabetes With Coma In Dogs
Though diabetes is a relatively common disease in canines, the problem of accompanying complications is less seen. Often, with insulin therapy, diabetes can be managed quite well in our pets. However, difficulties can arise that can cause our pets to become very ill. Urgent care is required and some pets arrive at the clinic in a comatose, or near comatose state. The list of pets predisposed to diabetes is very long, with some of the breeds being Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, Beagles, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chow, Dachshund, and West Highland Terrier. Females are affected more often than males. When the pancreas is unable to regulate blood sugar, diabetes results. Once a dog is diagnosed with diabetes, the main protocol is to regulate the blood glucose levels. There can be cases of canine diabetes that occur with serious complications, resulting in issues like hyperglycemia and hyperosmolar coma. A dog with diabetes displays symptoms that are easily recognized. Increased thirst (polydipsia) Frequent urination (polyuria) Increased appetite (polyphagia) Weight loss (even though he is eating regularly) Weakness A dog with complications that can lead to coma will exhibit additional signs. Lethargy and fatigue Restlessness Muscle twitching Depression Dehydration Vomiting Seizure Daze, confusion, and unresponsiveness Rapid breathing (tachypnea) Coma Death Types There are many types of disorders that can lead to diabetes with coma. Each one has specific causes that will lead your dog to a state of being unresponsive and comatose. If your pet is becoming extremely lethargic and moving in and out of consciousness, bring him to the veterinarian or emergency clinic without delay. Insulin resistance Insulin effectiveness Diabetic ketoacidosis Hyper Continue reading >>
What Is The Difference Between Insulin Shock & A Diabetic Coma?
Nearly 26 million Americans had diabetes in 2010, and many were not being adequately treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people have heard about the long-term complications of poorly controlled diabetes, such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and blindness. People with diabetes can also develop acute complications. If your blood glucose gets too high due to inadequate treatment, or falls too low due to overly aggressive treatment, you could suddenly lose consciousness. Insulin shock, diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome are all potential causes of diabetic coma. Insulin Shock Insulin is a hormone your pancreas normally produces in response to rising glucose levels. Many people with diabetes must take insulin to prevent their blood glucose from rising too high. If you take more insulin than your body needs, you could suddenly develop hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. People who take insulin and exercise without eating or drink too much alcohol are particularly susceptible to hypoglycemia. Insulin shock, which is a form of diabetic coma, may occur if your blood glucose falls too low to support your brain’s metabolic demands -- usually below 50 mg/dL. Seizures may occur before the onset of coma. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Just as a low blood glucose level can trigger unconsciousness, extremely high blood glucose levels can alter brain function and lead to coma. Diabetic ketoacidosis, which usually affects people with type 1 diabetes, happens when you don’t have enough insulin in your system. DKA may be the initial manifestation of newly developed diabetes, or it may result from a skipped insulin dose in a person who has already been diagnosed with diabetes. Infections and alcohol abuse can also trigge Continue reading >>
What Is It? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially fatal complication of diabetes that occurs when you have much less insulin than your body needs. This problem causes the blood to become acidic and the body to become dangerously dehydrated. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when diabetes is not treated adequately, or it can occur during times of serious sickness. To understand this illness, you need to understand the way your body powers itself with sugar and other fuels. Foods we eat are broken down by the body, and much of what we eat becomes glucose (a type of sugar), which enters the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose to pass from the bloodstream into body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin normally is made by the pancreas, but people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) don't produce enough insulin and must inject it daily. Your body needs a constant source of energy. When you have plenty of insulin, your body cells can get all the energy they need from glucose. If you don't have enough insulin in your blood, your liver is programmed to manufacture emergency fuels. These fuels, made from fat, are called ketones (or keto acids). In a pinch, ketones can give you energy. However, if your body stays dependent on ketones for energy for too long, you soon will become ill. Ketones are acidic chemicals that are toxic at high concentrations. In diabetic ketoacidosis, ketones build up in the blood, seriously altering the normal chemistry of the blood and interfering with the function of multiple organs. They make the blood acidic, which causes vomiting and abdominal pain. If the acid level of the blood becomes extreme, ketoacidosis can cause falling blood pressure, coma and death. Ketoacidosis is always accompanied by dehydration, which is caused by high Continue reading >>
The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Today, we’re excited to share with you another guest blog from Katie Janowiak, who works for the Medtronic Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm. When she first told me her story about food poisoning and Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), I knew others could benefit from hearing it as well. Thanks Katie for your openness and allowing us to share your scary story so that the LOOP community can learn from it. Throughout this past year, I’ve had the honor of sharing with you, the amazing LOOP community, my personal journey and the often humorous sequence of events that is my life with T1. Humor is, after all, the best (and cheapest) therapy. Allow me to pause today to share with you the down and dirty of what it feels like to have something that is not the slightest bit humorous: diabetic ketoacidosis.You are hot. You are freezing. You are confused. You are blacked out but coherent. You go to talk but words fail you. Time flies and goes in slow motion simultaneously. You will likely smell and look like death. In my instance, this was brought on by the combination of excessive vomiting and dehydration caused by food poisoning and the diabetic ketoacidosis that followed after my body had gone through so much. In hindsight, I was lucky, my husband knew that I had food poisoning because I began vomiting after our meal. But I had never prepped him on diabetic ketoacidosis and the symptoms (because DKA was for those other diabetics.) Upon finding me in our living room with a bowl of blood and bile by my side (no, I am not exaggerating), he got me into the car and took me to emergency care. It was 5:30 p.m. – and I thought it was 11:00 a.m. The series of events that led up to my stay in the ICU began innocently enough. It was a warm summer night and my husband and I walke Continue reading >>
Risk Factors And Symptoms Of A Diabetic Coma
It is important for diabetics to keep track of their blood sugar levels because any discrepancies that result in dangerously high or low levels can lead to a diabetic coma. A diabetic coma is a life-threatening complication associated with the disease that causes unconsciousness. If left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal. Risk Factors for a Diabetic Coma Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of experiencing a diabetic coma. If you suffer from type 1 diabetes, you're at risk of a diabetic coma due to low blood sugar or diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have type 2 diabetes, you're at risk of a diabetic coma due to diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, particularly if you're middle-aged or older. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at risk due to insulin delivery problems as well. It is important to know that even if you're on an insulin pump, you have to check your blood sugar frequently. Always ensure that there are no kinks in your insulin pump tubing, as this could cause all insulin delivery to stop. Even tubeless pumps can occasionally cause problems that can cause insulin delivery to stop. There are other risk factors that diabetics should be aware of as well, such as illness, trauma or surgery. When you are sick or injured, your blood sugar levels tend to rise. This sudden rise may cause diabetic ketoacidosis if you have type 1 diabetes and don't increase your insulin intake to compensate. Congestive heart failure or kidney disease can also increase your risk of diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, which can lead to a diabetic coma. Diabetes management is absolutely key to staying healthy, and if you do not monitor your blood sugar properly or take your medications as directed, you are increasing your risk of developing long-term complications and diabetic coma. Deliberately Continue reading >>
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 >>
What Is A Diabetic Coma?
Diabetic coma is a rare but serious occurrence. It is important to be aware of the risks of coma in diabetic patients and the possible causes. Diabetes mellitus is typically characterized by high blood sugar and an inability to reduce this sugar level. This may be due to a true (as in type 1) or relative (as in type 2) deficiency of insulin, the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar. The three most common causes of coma in diabetic patients are: Very low blood sugar or severe hypoglycaemia If the blood sugar level in the brain drops to a critical level (below 3.5 mmol/l), a person is at risk of losing consciousness and falling into a diabetic coma. Normally, as blood sugar begins to fall, the body compensates for this by releasing glucagon, a hormone that opposes the actions of insulin by raising blood glucose. A coma is more likely to occur if an individual has taken an overdose of insulin or other anti-diabetic medications, consumed a lot of alcohol or taken part in an unusual amount of exercise (especially if they are also on insulin). Diabetic ketoacidosis This is mostly seen in people with type 1 diabetes or those 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 to provide it, which forms acidic compounds called ketones. A build up ketones in the body causes a condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may occur as a result of a missed dose of insulin or as a result of acute infection, injury or surgery causing a rise in hormones that counteract the effects of insulin. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) This condition is characterized by severe dehydration and very high blood glucose. A missed dose of insulin, acute infection or injury, and heavy food or s Continue reading >>