Diabetic emergencies have become a major concern for a majority of people, making it a critical condition. Over-exercising, skipping meals, regular alcohol consumption, and overdosing on insulin can trigger these emergencies. Diabetes is a serious condition, and if you are a patient, it is essential to focus on your diet plan and take medications at the prescribed time. It is your responsibility to manage your diabetes effectively.
Recognizing the signs of a diabetic emergency can be crucial in saving lives. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. It is important to understand the differences between these types and the symptoms that accompany them.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, reduces the body's ability to respond to insulin, leading to inadequate insulin production and difficulty managing glucose levels. Most diabetes emergencies are related to disruptions in blood sugar levels, while other complications can lead to serious problems. Here are the five key signs of diabetic emergencies that everyone should be aware of.
Hypoglycemia, a condition where the blood sugar level drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter, is common among diabetic patients. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures and become life-threatening if left untreated. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. As a diabetic patient, it is important to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and take action to prevent it.
Hypoglycemia, a condition where the blood sugar level drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter, can occur in diabetic patients due to various reasons. However, it is easy to correct the condition if the symptoms are recognized promptly. In diabetes, hypoglycemia usually results from an excess of insulin or other medications that control blood sugar levels. Common causes of hypoglycemia include:
Taking more insulin than necessary for the current intake of food or level of exercise.
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
Delaying or skipping meals.
Doing more exercise than usual.
As a diabetic patient, it is essential to be aware of these triggers and take steps to avoid them.
When a diabetic patient does not receive appropriate treatment, their body may not have enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels or may not respond to insulin properly. This can result in hyperglycemia, characterized by:
If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to serious complications such as nerve damage, kidney damage, and heart disease. Therefore, it is crucial for diabetic patients to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly and seek medical attention if they experience any of these symptoms.
If you experience high levels of blood sugar, tests may show high sugar levels in both your urine and blood. Neglecting this condition may lead to life-threatening complications, such as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome or diabetic ketoacidosis. If you notice worsening symptoms, it is essential to see a doctor immediately.
Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome
If the level of blood sugar becomes higher, then conditions like hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) rise. This is a life-threatening condition that can happen with or without diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If you have type-2 diabetes, you are more prone to HHS. However, people without diabetes or a diabetes diagnosis can also experience this condition. Several factors increase the risk of HHS, including:
Severe infections, including urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and sepsis.
The use of certain medications, including diuretics and psychiatric treatments, that can lead to dehydration.
Misuse of certain substances.
If you experience visual disturbances or blurry vision due to low blood sugar, don't worry, as it is a sign that your brain is in need of fuel. However, in the case of Hyperglycemia, a high level of blood sugar causes fluid to move into the eyes and can affect the shape of the lens, leading to visual problems.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that arises when the body lacks sufficient insulin to allow glucose to enter the cells. This results in the cells not having enough glucose for energy and thus the body breaking down fats for fuel.
If the body doesn't have enough insulin to allow glucose to enter the cells, it leads to Diabetic Ketoacidosis. As a result, the body breaks down fat for fuel since the cells do not have enough glucose to use for energy. This process produces ketones, which are toxic when their levels are high, increasing the blood's overall acidity. Many people experience this due to a lack of insulin or when insulin stops working correctly.
If a diabetic emergency is left untreated, it can result in severe complications such as diabetic Ketoacidosis. Ignoring DKA can lead to coma, unconsciousness, and other critical conditions.
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