Emergency Conditions in Diabetes and Symptoms
An emergency condition in diabetes can occur when blood sugar levels drop too low or rise too high from normal limits. This risk causes serious health problems, coma, and even death. Therefore, emergency signs and symptoms in diabetes are important to recognize.
When a person consumes carbohydrate foods, the digestive tract will break down these carbohydrates into smaller sugar molecules, known as glucose. Glucose is then absorbed into the cells of the body with the help of insulin, to be used as an energy source.
When the amount of insulin is too low or an abnormality occurs in cells which makes it difficult to use insulin, then the glucose level in the blood increases. Over time, this condition can cause diabetes.
Symptoms of Emergency Conditions in Diabetes
Diabetics need to recognize the signs and symptoms of an emergency condition in diabetes. Because if ignored and left without help, this condition can cause coma, permanent brain damage, or even death. The following are some of the emergency conditions in diabetes that you need to pay attention to:
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar levels are too low. This can occur because diabetics use too high a dose of diabetes medications, forget to eat after taking diabetes medications or use insulin, eat in too little portions, exercise heavily, or consume alcohol.
When experiencing hypoglycemia, a person can experience the following symptoms:
Hunger or appetite increases.
Restless or nervous.
When experiencing a blood sugar drop that is too drastic, diabetics need to immediately get sugar intake to increase their blood sugar levels. This intake can be obtained from consuming sugar, fruit juice, sweet tea, honey, or candy.
After 15 minutes, if the symptoms have not improved, repeat administration of sugar. If it has been done three times but there has been no improvement, the condition is worsening, or even a seizure or fainting, immediately to the nearest emergency room.
This condition occurs when starving body cells are forced to break down fat as an energy source. Cells may starve because the body lacks insulin or cannot use insulin to enter glucose into cells as an energy source.
The destruction of this fat produces ketones which can be toxic (toxic) to the body if the amount is excessive. Diabetes ketoacidosis is one of the most dangerous emergencies in diabetes.
Diabetes ketoacidosis is more likely to occur in diabetic patients who have certain conditions, such as infection, injury, surgery, uncontrolled blood sugar, or heart disease. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis can be:
Feeling very thirsty and weak.
It’s hard to breathe.
Chest pounding fast.
Mouth and dry skin.
Breath smells like fruit.
Nausea, vomiting, and stomach ache.
Diabetic patients who experience these symptoms should immediately get medical help at the hospital. The doctor will give treatment through an IV and give insulin to gradually reduce blood sugar levels. If late handled, this condition can cause fatal complications.
Diabetic hyperosmolar hyperglycemia syndrome
This syndrome, also called hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS), occurs when blood sugar levels reach 600 mg / dL or more, so that the blood of diabetics becomes thick. In this situation, the body will try to get rid of excess sugar through urine, which actually makes diabetics dehydrated.
If left unchecked, diabetic hyperosmolar hyperglycemia syndrome can end in coma and death. About 57% of these cases are caused by bacterial infections, 21% are caused by irregular consumption of diabetes medications, and the rest are caused by heart disease, kidney problems, or strokes.
Diabetics who experience this emergency can show symptoms such as:
Dry and thirsty mouth.
Cold feet and hands.
Chest pounding fast.
Weakness on one side of the body.
Passed out or coma.
Diabetic patients who experience this emergency condition must be immediately taken to the emergency room at the nearest hospital, to get treatment.
Prevention of Emergency Conditions in Diabetes
To prevent emergency diabetes, there are several steps that must be done, namely:
Obey the rules of diabetes and insulin medicines. This includes the dosage and time of use.
Keep time and portions are always regular.
Check blood sugar levels regularly. In addition to regular blood sugar test kits, can also with blood sugar monitors (Continuous Glucose Monitor / CGM). CGM is a small device that is inserted into the skin tissue to monitor blood sugar levels continuously. Research shows that CGM can improve the quality of blood sugar control in diabetics.
Give sugar intake, such as candy or sugary drinks, which are ready for consumption when blood sugar suddenly drops.
Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol consumption.
Watch for symptoms that might occur after exercising and prepare adequate sugar intake.
Well, now you already know about the danger of an emergency condition in diabetes, right? You need to be aware of symptoms to avoid fatal conditions. However, more important is to prevent an emergency condition in diabetes, by using the method above. Do not forget to routinely do a doctor’s examination if you have diabetes.