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Diabetic Coma Is A Condition That Occurs When

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How Can You Prevent A Diabetic Coma

Causes of Diabetic Coma

Making sure your friend or loved one is monitoring her blood sugar is the best way to prevent a diabetic coma.

Knowing the signs of high or low blood sugar helps, too.

It’s always better to recognize the signs earlier rather than later, because then you can treat the symptoms and prevent the emergency, Greta says.

She warns that high blood sugar and low blood sugar share certain symptoms: Blurred vision, nausea, or a fast heartbeat can be evidence of either condition. This is why it’s so important to test blood sugar.

A West Valley Medical Center physician can help you and your loved one come up with strategies to manage diabetes.

Learn First Aid For Someone Who Is Having A Diabetic Emergency

1. Give them something sweet to eat or a non-diet drink.

If someone has a diabetic emergency, their blood sugar levels can become too low. This can make them collapse.Giving them something sugary will help raise their blood sugar levels and improve their bodily function. Avoid giving them a diet drink, as it wont have any sugar in it and will not help them.

2. Reassure the person. Most people will gradually improve, but if in doubt, call 999.

If you cant call 999, get someone else to do it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

The signs and symptoms include the following:

  • High blood sugar
  • High levels of sugar in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst

Part of managing your diabetes is checking your blood sugar often. Ask your doctor how often you should check and what your blood sugar levels should be. Checking your blood and then treating high blood sugar early will help you avoid problems associated with hyperglycemia.

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The Initial Causes Diabetic Coma Is A Condition That Occurs When

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition in many people. This type is caused by a lack of insulin and is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. The bodys inability to process glucose from the blood can damage many parts of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid diabetes. Here are five tips to help you lower your risk: Eat more vegetables and fruits, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking.

High levels of triglycerides in the blood are another factor that can cause diabetes. These triglycerides are caused by a buildup of cholesterol in the blood. A high triglyceride level causes the body to misrepresent insulin as a molecule, which causes glucose to build up in the blood. A simple blood glucose test can confirm your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. By following these tips, you can begin living a healthy life and avoid the complications of diabetes.

A person with type 2 diabetes must consume less sugar. Glucose causes thirst and dehydration because the body releases energy stores into the bloodstream instead of using insulin. If untreated, diabetes can lead to weight loss and diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition whereby the cells are deprived of energy. To prevent the condition, you must make sure that your diet is low in glycemic load and that you exercise regularly.

Can A Diabetic Coma Be Diagnosed

Diabetic Coma Symptoms: Signs of Diabetic Coma

Diabetic coma results from hyperosmolar conditions. Neurological changes begin above levels of 320-330 mg/dL.

Diabetic coma can occur due to either a hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state or being in diabetic ketoacidosis . Both involve a hyperosmolar state, but in HHS, glucose levels can exceed 1,000. In DKA, they are usually lower.

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When To Seek Emergency Care

Its important to measure your blood sugar if you experience any unusual symptoms so that you do not progress to a coma. Diabetic comas are considered emergencies that require prompt medical attention and are treated in a hospital setting. Like symptoms, diabetic coma treatments can vary depending on the cause.

Its also important to help instruct your loved ones on how to respond if you progress to a diabetic coma. Ideally they should be educated on the signs and symptoms of the conditions listed above so that you do not progress this far. It can be a frightening discussion, but its one you need to have. Your family and close friends need to learn how to help in case of an emergency. You wont be able to help yourself once you fall into a coma. Instruct your loved ones to call 911 if you lose consciousness. The same should be done if you experience warning symptoms of diabetic coma. Show others how to administer glucagon in the case of diabetic coma from hypoglycemia. Be sure to always wear a medical alert bracelet so that others know of your condition and can contact emergency services if youre away from home.

Once a person receives treatment, they can regain consciousness after their blood sugar level is normalized.

People With Difficulty Maintaining Blood Glucose Levels

The term brittle diabetes has been used to refer to people who have dramatic recurrent swings in blood glucose levels, often for no apparent reason. However, this term is no longer used. People with type 1 diabetes may have more frequent swings in blood glucose levels because insulin production is completely absent. Infection, delayed movement of food through the stomach, and other hormonal disorders may also contribute to blood glucose swings. In all people who have difficulty controlling blood glucose, doctors look for other disorders that might be causing the problem and also give people additional education on how to monitor diabetes and take their drugs.

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How Can Parents Help

To prevent hyperglycemia, check blood sugars often and follow the care plan to keep them in the healthy range. Teach your child to do this, so they can take on this responsibility as they grow.

Make sure your child:

  • takes insulin and diabetes medicines as prescribed
  • eats and drinks according to their meal plan
  • gets plenty of exercise every day
  • checks their blood sugar levels throughout the day
  • follows instructions from their care team

Even when you follow the care plan and check blood sugars carefully, your child can still have a high level from time to time. But if you find that your child has high blood sugar levels often, talk to your diabetes health care team. They may suggest changes to the care plan to help bring sugar levels back into a healthy range.

What Are The Risk Factors For Diabetic Coma

Diabetes and Coma

While anyone who has diabetes is at risk for a diabetic coma, the causes depend on the type of diabetes:

  • People with Type 1 diabetes have a greater chance of going into a diabetic coma as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis or hypoglycemia. This is because people with Type 1 diabetes always need insulin and have a wider range in their blood glucose levels than people with Type 2 diabetes.
  • People with Type 2 diabetes have a greater chance of going into a diabetic coma from diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome than from diabetic ketoacidosis or hypoglycemia.

Other risks that can lead to diabetic coma in anyone who has diabetes include:

  • Surgery.

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How To Recover From A Diabetic Coma

When a patient receives proper treatment after a diabetic coma, he tends to return to his normal condition once glucose levels are rebalanced.

In these cases, there are usually no long-term sequelae or effects that can harm your health or the functioning of your body, as people who receive emergency treatment after a diabetic coma tend to recover completely.

As such, it is important to pay attention to the signs to ask for help when they begin to take hold. Thus, the patient can receive the proper treatment at the right time, without facing major complications.

Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The most common early symptoms of DKA are the insidious increase in polydipsia and polyuria. The following are other signs and symptoms of DKA:

  • Malaise, generalized weakness, and fatigability

  • Nausea and vomiting may be associated with diffuse abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and anorexia

  • Rapid weight loss in patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

  • History of failure to comply with insulin therapy or missed insulin injections due to vomiting or psychological reasons or history of mechanical failure of insulin infusion pump

  • Altered consciousness frank coma is uncommon but may occur when the condition is neglected or with severe dehydration/acidosis

Signs and symptoms of DKA associated with possible intercurrent infection are as follows:

  • Fever

  • Glaser NS, Marcin JP, Wootton-Gorges SL, et al. Correlation of clinical and biochemical findings with diabetic ketoacidosis-related cerebral edema in children using magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging. J Pediatr. 2008 Jun 25. .

  • Umpierrez GE, Jones S, Smiley D, et al. Insulin analogs versus human insulin in the treatment of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2009 Jul. 32:1164-9. . .

  • Herrington WG, Nye HJ, Hammersley MS, Watkinson PJ. Are arterial and venous samples clinically equivalent for the estimation of pH, serum bicarbonate and potassium concentration in critically ill patients?. Diabet Med. 2012 Jan. 29:32-5. .

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    Recovering From Diabetic Coma

    Once your blood glucose levels are in a healthy range, you should start to feel better almost immediately. If youve been unconscious, you should come around soon after treatment begins.

    If the symptoms occurred for a while before treatment or if you were in a diabetic coma for several hours or longer, you could experience some brain damage. An untreated diabetic coma may also result in death.

    People who receive emergency treatment for a diabetic coma usually recover fully. Your doctor may recommend that you wear a medical identification bracelet that explains the nature of your diabetes and other health concerns. This may help ensure you get the proper treatment for future problems quickly.

    If you experience a diabetic coma without knowing you have diabetes, your doctor will work with you to develop a diabetes treatment plan. This will include medications, as well as recommendations for diet and exercise.

    What Is Type 2 Diabetes

    Diabetic Coma

    Type 2 diabetes was also previously referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus , or adult-onset diabetes mellitus . In type 2 diabetes, patients can still produce insulin, but do so relatively inadequately for their body’s needs, particularly in the face of insulin resistance as discussed above. In many cases this actually means the pancreas produces larger than normal quantities of insulin. A major feature of type 2 diabetes is a lack of sensitivity to insulin by the cells of the body .

    In addition to the problems with an increase in insulin resistance, the release of insulin by the pancreas may also be defective and suboptimal. In fact, there is a known steady decline in beta cell production of insulin in type 2 diabetes that contributes to worsening glucose control. Finally, the liver in these patients continues to produce glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis despite elevated glucose levels. The control of gluconeogenesis becomes compromised.

    While it is said that type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in individuals over 30 years old and the incidence increases with age, an alarming number of patients with type 2 diabetes are barely in their teen years. Most of these cases are a direct result of poor eating habits, higher body weight, and lack of exercise.

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    Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Coma

    Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous state of having very high blood glucose levels in combination with high ketone levels.

    Ketoacidosis is able to occur if the body runs out of insulin and is therefore a factor for people with type 1 diabetes to be aware of. Insulin can prevent ketone levels rising and this is the key reason why people with diabetes are advised never to miss their long term insulin injections.

    Coma is one of the most dangerous complications which can result from diabetes. Coma is a serious state of unconsciousness in which someone is unresponsive and cannot be woken up.

    In people with diabetes, the most common causes of coma are very high or very low blood glucose. Very low blood glucose levels which lead to coma can happen if people inject too much insulin for the meals and activities they are undertaking.

    In type 1 diabetes, a dangerous short term complication known as ketoacidosis can occur which can lead to coma if it is not treated quickly. Charity Diabetes UK advises people with type 1 diabetes to test for ketones if their blood glucose levels rise above 15 mmol/l.

    People with type 2 diabetes are less likely to experience ketoacidosis but can develop a dangerous condition known as Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State which can lead to coma.

    Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State may occur if blood glucose levels are very high, typically over 40 mmol/l.

    The symptoms of very low blood glucose include:

    • Difficulty concentrating

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    When To Seek A Doctor

    If hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome symptoms last for more than 48 hours, you should immediately contact your doctor. This is because the hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome can be a sign of diabetes and if left untreated, this could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis or even coma which needs immediate medical attention.

    If you have any of the following symptoms, go to an emergency room immediately:

    • Your doctor has ordered medication to help you lower your blood sugar level. Despite following your doctors instructions for therapy, your blood sugar levels remain above 400 mg/dL and do not improve. Dont wait until your blood sugar level reaches dangerous levels of diabetes hyperosmolar syndrome.
    • Youre experiencing blurred vision, dehydration, or other indications of confusion.

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    What Are The Indications

    Remember that there is no precise symptom unique to diabetic coma. The symptoms tend to vary depending on the type of diabetes an individual is diagnosed with.

    The condition is often preceded by a peak of several indications. There are also variances in the symptoms between high and low blood sugar. The indications that an individual might be suffering from low blood sugar and at risk for progressing to severe low blood sugar include:

    • Shakiness

    How Long Can A Person Be In A Diabetic Coma

    Diabetic Coma

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    Similarly, it is asked, can a person recover from a diabetic coma?

    If the symptoms occurred for a while before treatment or if you were in a diabetic coma for several hours or longer, you could experience some brain damage. An untreated diabetic coma may also result in death. People who get emergency treatment for a diabetic coma usually recover fully.

    Additionally, how serious is a diabetic coma? A diabetic coma is a life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness. If you have diabetes, dangerously high blood sugar or dangerously low blood sugar can lead to a diabetic coma. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal.

    In this manner, at what sugar level is diabetic coma?

    A diabetic coma could happen when your blood sugar gets too high — 600 milligrams per deciliter or more — causing you to become very dehydrated.

    How do you deal with a diabetic coma?


  • Intravenous fluids to restore water to your tissues.
  • Potassium, sodium or phosphate supplements to help your cells function correctly.
  • Insulin to help your tissues absorb the glucose in your blood.
  • Treatment for any underlying infections.
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    Understanding And Preventing Diabetic Coma

    What is diabetic coma?

    Diabetic coma is a serious, potentially life-threatening complication associated with diabetes. A diabetic coma causes unconsciousness that you cannot awaken from without medical care. Most cases of diabetic coma occur in people with type 1 diabetes. But people with other types of diabetes are also at risk.

    If you have diabetes, its important to learn about diabetic coma, including its causes and symptoms. Doing so will help prevent this dangerous complication and help you get the treatment you need right away.

    Diabetic coma can occur when blood sugar levels are out of control. It has three main causes:

    Test The Person’s Blood Sugar

    If you have an idea of how to care for somebody with diabetes, call 911, and then try to test her blood sugar, suggests Greta.

    If her blood sugar is low and we consider anything under 70 low and if you know how to treat that, one of the things you can potentially do is give her an emergency medication called glucagon.

    But that involves giving a shot, so you need to know what you’re doing if you’re planning to give glucagon, she adds.

    If glucagon is unavailable or you don’t know how to administer it, there are other ways to try to raise the person’s blood sugar.

    You can take a honey or glucose gel and rub that on the inside of the lips, Greta explains. Glucose or sugar from honey could be absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth.

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    Faqs: Frequently Asked Questions

    Can DKA recur?

    Yes, DKA will happen whenever insulin levels are too low and not enough glucose is being produced to provide energy to your muscles and other tissues. If you miss a dose, underdose, or suffer from trauma or illness that depletes your insulin, DKA can recur.

    Can DKA cause a heart attack or stroke?

    Complications of DKA can include a heart attack or stroke because of the buildup of ketones in your body, so take it seriously and get emergency treatment as soon as you recognize the signs.

    What causes a coma in DKA?

    When blood-sugar levels become too low, triggering hypoglycemia, severe dehydration can then cause a diabetic coma.

    How long does it take to recover from diabetic ketoacidosis?

    Finally, some good news! Once youre safely admitted to the hospital for DKA, recovery is usually complete in one to three days.

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