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''t awaken or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal.
The idea of a diabetic coma is scary, but you can take steps to help prevent it. Start by following your diabetes treatment plan.
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Before developing a diabetic coma, you''ve had diabetes for a long time, develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness and won''t start to feel better quickly, or you start to feel worse, call for emergency help.
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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 number. If you''s either too high or too low for too long may cause various serious conditions, all of which can lead to a diabetic coma.
Diabetic ketoacidosis. If your muscle cells become starved for energy, your body may respond by breaking down fat stores. This process forms toxic acids known as ketones. If you have ketones (measured in blood or urine) and high blood sugar, the condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis. Left untreated, it can lead to a diabetic coma.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in type 1 diabetes but sometimes occurs in type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.
Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. If your blood sugar level tops 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 33.3 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), the condition is called diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.
Severely high blood sugar turns your blood thick and syrupy. The excess sugar passes from your blood into your urine, which triggers a filtering process that draws tremendous amounts of fluid from your body. Left untreated, this can lead to life-threatening dehydration and a diabetic coma. About 25 to 50 percent of people with diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome develop a coma.
Hypoglycemia. Your brain needs glucose to function. In severe cases, low blood sugar may cause you to pass out. Hypoglycemia can be caused by too much insulin or not enough food. Exercising too vigorously or drinking too much alcohol can have the same effect. Risk factors
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Insulin delivery problems. If you''re sick or injured, blood sugar levels tend to rise, sometimes dramatically. This may cause diabetic ketoacidosis if you have type 1 diabetes and don''t monitor your blood sugar properly or take your medications as directed, you''s sedating effects may make it harder for you to know when you''re keeping your blood sugar level in your target range — and alert you to dangerous highs or lows. Check more frequently if you''t exercise regularly. Take your medication as directed. If you have frequent episodes of high or low blood sugar, let your doctor know. He or she may need to adjust the dose or the timing of your medication. Have a sick-day plan. Illness can cause an unexpected change in blood sugar. If you are sick and unable to eat, your blood sugar may drop. Before you get sick, talk with your doctor about how to best manage your blood sugar levels. Consider storing at least three days''t feel symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia unawareness).
CGMs are devices that use a small sensor inserted underneath the skin to track trends in your blood sugar levels and transmit the information to a wireless device.
These devices can alert you when your blood sugar is dangerously low or if it is dropping too fast. However, you still need to test your blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter even if you''re unconscious, the ID can provide valuable information to your friends, co-workers and others — including emergency personnel.
Aug. 22, 2018