Diabetes India
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Diabetic Emergencies

Responding promptly to symptoms of a diabetic emergency can be life saving.

Most diabetic emergencies are related to disruption in a persons blood sugar levels. Occasionally even too much of a drug being used to treat diabetes can trigger a diabetic emergency.

The common diabetic emergencies include:-

--1.-- Severe hypoglycemia,. It normally only occurs in people with diabetes who take medicines that lower blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may drop dangerously low when a person is

--consuming too much alcohol


Missing or delaying meal

Overdosing of diabetic medication.

-2.---Diabetic ketoacidosis --it occurs when body does not have enough insulin to break down glucose properly and hormones that normally work opposite insulin are high.

Overtime body releases hormones that break down fat to provide fuel.This produces acids called ketones. As ketones build up in the body, ketoacidosis can occur. The common causes of ketoacidosis include --

Uncontrolled or untreated diabetes.

Illness or infection that changes hormone production.

Drugs or alcohol abuse.

A heart attack

Some medication particularly corticosteroids.

-3. Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome --it occurs when blood sugar levels become dangerously high. People with type 2 with poorly controlled diabetes are more prone but other factors also increase the risk. These include--

Illness or infection

A heart attack

Using medicine which reduces insulin efficacy.

Taking medicines that promote fluid loss.

-4-- Infection--people with diabetes are more prone to infection. Infection may become serious triggering life threatening complications.


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You may have had high blood pressure when going through tough times in your life. Bouts of anxiety can cause abrupt spikes in blood pressure, albeit temporary. But when these spikes happen too often, or even on a daily basis, your blood vessels and organs like the heart and kidneys can get damaged, and you can develop chronic high blood pressure.


Blood sugar less than 40 mg/dL or higher than 500 mg/dL is a medical emergency.

In order to avoid diabetic emergencies, each and every diabetic patients should undergo various medical tests once in every 3 months/ 6 months/ one year as suggested by your doctor.

A: HbA1c. HbA1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. It shows

how well you are controlling your diabetes.

B: Control your high Blood pressure, if any. Normal blood pressure- <120/80 mmHg.

C: Control your blood Cholesterol: Normal cholesterol < 200 mg/dL. LDL <100 mg/dL HDL > 40 mg/dL Triglyceride < 150 mg/dL.

D: Diabetic education.Dental check-up should be done in every 6 months.

E: Eye examination for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataract.

F: Foot examination

G: Glucose monitoring. Fasting or postprandial blood sugar may be checked daily and avoid foods that elevates blood sugar.

H: Health maintenance immunization against influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia.

I: Indications for specialty care. Heart, kidney, eye should be checked periodically by concerned specialists.

* Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of similar age without diabetes.

* Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.

* The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.






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