When you think about diabetes, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is high blood sugar. But, diabetes is a complicated disease that’s much more than that. It can lead to many health conditions and increase the risk of various life-threatening diseases.
Another life-threatening risk that people with diabetes face is insulin shock. But, what is an insulin shock and who’s at risk of experiencing it?
People with diabetes who take regular insulin shots should be careful not to forget to eat after injecting their insulin dose. They should eat as much as they usually do.
If for some reason they eat less than normal or forget to eat after taking the insulin shot, their blood sugar levels could drop to dangerously low levels – hypoglycemia.
Insulin shock is a life-threatening condition that happens if the person:
The symptoms of an insulin shock can progress really quickly. They have to be addressed in time to prevent progressing into seizures, coma, or even death.
The early warning signs of insulin shock are:
They could easily progress into:
If you experience an insulin shock in the middle of the night, you’ll experience the following symptoms:
Too high insulin levels in your blood can cause too low blood sugar levels. In this condition, your body doesn’t have the needed fuel/energy to perform its normal functions.
Having an insulin shock would mean too little fuel for your body so it’ll start shutting down.
So, if you take insulin shots to control your diabetes, you are at risk of having too high insulin levels in your blood if you miss a meal after taking the shot, or if you inject too much insulin.
Here are some other possible causes:
When noticing the first signs of hypoglycemia, it’s best to act as soon as possible. Eat a sugary snack with some protein source like an energy bar or nuts.
This will give your insulin something to work with, thus normalizing your blood glucose levels and alleviating the symptoms.
If your blood glucose levels aren’t increasing after 15 minutes, eat another small carbohydrate snack, and then a regular meal. If your blood glucose doesn’t improve after 3 treatments, head to the emergency room.
If some other person is experiencing these symptoms, make sure they eat the carbohydrate snacks and meals as soon as possible.
And, if the person is unconscious, call 911 and don’t give them anything to swallow as they might choke on it. Also, if you have an injection of glucagon, use it.
Here are some tips to lower the risk of hypoglycemia and insulin shock:
If you have diabetes and take insulin shots you should know that taking care of yourself could save your life.
But, with the proper precautions, you can manage your insulin medications and blood glucose levels, thus preventing insulin shock and other diabetes complications.