Dangers of Not Taking Insulin or Other Diabetes Medication
As water wears down a shoreline, even a rocky one, high blood sugar wears down the health of people with diabetes.
Unless an individual can control their blood sugar through lifestyle, diet and exercise, prescription medications are the only option for preventing acute life-threatening conditions and avoiding or slowing the onset of diabetes complications.
The short-term dangers of not taking prescribed medication are symptoms of weakness, fatigue, mental confusion and the life-threatening condition of hyperosmolar syndrome.
Hyperosmolar syndrome is diagnosed in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose and sodium levels are extremely high because of dehydration. Symptoms of weakness, increased thirst and urination, nausea, confusion and fatigue can develop gradually over days or weeks. Eventually, convulsions and coma may set in.
This condition usually requires hospitalization and aggressive treatment using IV fluids and insulin. Though symptoms are often relieved within hours, hyperosmolar syndrome can cause death, even with proper treatment. If people fall into a coma before seeking help, there is a 50 percent chance they will die from the disease.
Although the condition called ketoacidosis is uncommon with type 2 diabetes, it may occur. When the body cannot process glucose for energy, it breaks down fat for fuel. As fat is metabolized, it produces ketones.
Too many ketones cause increased urination and thirst, dry mouth, cool skin, nausea and vomiting. Eventually, there may be a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, coma or death. Treat Continue reading