Diabetic Coma – Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Treatment
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 the person might lose consciousness.
People might prevent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia from progressing into a diabetic coma. In case diabetic coma happens, it’s very likely that the physician can try to balance blood sugar levels and try to restore the patient’s consciousness.
Moreover, a person can go into a diabetic coma in case they have diabetic ketoacidosis. DKA, i.e., diabetic ketoacidosis is actually a build-up of chemicals by the name ketones.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
- A headache
- Heart palpitations
Symptoms of Hyperglycemia
In case of hyperglycemia, one might have significantly increased thirst and more frequent urination. Furthermore, a blood test might show higher sugar levels in their bloodstream. In addition, a urine test might show that they 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 someone has these symptoms, they must call 911.
- Difficulty breathing
What Can Lead to Diabetic Coma?
There are a few factors which might cause coma and dehydration. Those factors are:
- Uncontrolled blood glucose
- Blood clot
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Certain drugs such as steroids, diuretics, and drugs for the heart.
- Bleeding ulcer
How Is Diabetic Coma Treated?
In case the doctor sees the early symptoms, they might send the patient to the hospital or the emergency. Probably, they will get an IV in order to replace lost electrolytes and fluids like potassium.
Moreover, they might get insulin or other drugs in order to control their blood glucose. The coma might cause death, in case a person leaves their 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 – for those with high blood sugar levels (type 1 diabetes)
- Don’t consume alcohol after strenuous exercise
- Be careful of hypoglycemia at night after exercise – especially those who take sulfonylureas or insulin
Take Diabetic Coma Seriously
Diabetic coma is a medical emergency and should be taken as such. A diabetic coma might cause death or brain damage in case people don’t get the proper treatment.
Bear in mind that a diabetic coma is a common event, but the risk exists. People need to take proper steps in order to manage their diabetes, consult their doctor and ask questions on how to prevent diabetic coma.