Diabetic Coma - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment | Diabetes Health Page

Diabetic Coma – Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment

By NaDica | Articles

Jan 29

A diabetic coma is actually a diabetes complication which is life-threatening and which can lead to unconsciousness. A diabetic coma might occur in people who have type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes.

It happens when the blood glucose levels are either too high or too low. The cells found in the body need sugar in order to function.

Hyperglycemia, i.e., high blood glucose might lead to lightheadedness and losing consciousness. Hypoglycemia, i.e., low blood sugar might lead to severe dehydration where you might lose consciousness.

You might prevent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia from progressing into a diabetic coma. In case diabetic coma happens, it’s very likely that your physician can try to balance your blood sugar levels and try to restore your consciousness.

Moreover, you can go into a diabetic coma in case you have diabetic ketoacidosis. DKA, i.e., diabetic ketoacidosis is actually a build-up of chemicals by the name ketones.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

  • Dizziness
  • A headache
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shakiness
  • Confusion

Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

In case of hyperglycemia, you might have significantly increased thirst, and more frequent urination. Furthermore, a blood test might show higher sugar levels in your bloodstream. In addition, a urine test might show that you have high sugar levels.

Symptoms of DKA

DKA leads to high blood sugar levels. In addition, the signs are frequent urination and increased thirst. Other symptoms are:

  • Dry or flushed skin
  • Feeling tired
  • Upset stomach

Severe Symptoms of Diabetic Coma

In case you have these symptoms, you must call 911.

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting

What Can Lead to Diabetic Coma?

There are a few factors which might cause coma and dehydration. Those factors are:

  • Uncontrolled blood glucose
  • Infection
  • Blood clot
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney failure
  • Certain drugs such as steroids, diuretics, and drugs for the heart.
  • Bleeding ulcer
  • Illness

How Is Diabetic Coma Treated?

In case your doctor sees the early symptoms he/she might send you to the hospital or the emergency. Probably, you will get an IV in order to replace lost electrolytes and fluids like potassium.

Moreover, you might get insulin or other drugs in order to control your blood glucose. The coma might cause death, in case you leave your diabetes untreated.

How to Prevent Diabetic Coma

These following recommendations might help prevent the occurring of diabetic coma.

  • Ensure to consume alcohol responsibly and reasonably
  • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar
  • Test blood glucose levels, especially during time of illness
  • Do test for ketones in case you have high blood sugar levels (type 1 diabetes)
  • Don’t consume alcohol after strenuous exercise
  • Be careful of hypoglycemia at night after exercise in case you take sulfonylureas or insulin

Take Diabetic Coma Seriously

You know that diabetic coma is a medical emergency and should take it as such. A diabetic coma might cause death or brain damage in case you don’t get the proper treatment.

Bear in mind that a diabetic coma is a common event, but the risk exists. You need to take proper steps in order to manage your diabetes, consult your doctor and ask questions on how to prevent diabetic coma.