What are the Signs and Symptoms for Diabetic Coma?

Extreme rise in the level of your blood sugar or extreme lowering of the level of your blood sugar is generally the usual sign and symptom noticed before a sudden diabetic coma attack.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Coma and its First Aid

High Blood Sugar or Hyperglycemia Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Coma

People suffering from high levels of blood sugar may experience the following before a diabetic coma:

  • Increased thirst for water
  • Frequent urgency of urinating
  • Tiredness
  • Vertigo and feeling of vomiting
  • Breathlessness
  • Pain in stomach
  • Breath odor seems to be fruity
  • Feeling of dry mouth
  • Increased heartbeat

Low Blood Sugar or Hypoglycemia Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Coma

People suffering from low levels of blood sugar may experience before a diabetic coma:

  • Nervousness or weakness
  • Anxiousness
  • Tiredness
  • Increased production of body sweat
  • Starvation
  • Nausea
  • Light headedness
  • Trouble in normal speaking
  • Ambiguity/ confusion

Hypoglycemia unawareness is one syndrome which happens to people with prolonged diabetic conditions. People under such syndrome cannot understand the signals of dropped blood sugar in them.

All the diabetic patients should check our sugar level in the blood at regular intervals. If possible it is suggested to buy diabetes device which can give you correct information on your blood sugar levels. Thus you would be able to remain alert about the growth of diabetes in the body and get immediate medical treatment. You can remain aware of the conditions of diabetes and can support yourselves better during emergencies.

Diabetic coma is a severe medical emergency that needs immediate support. Dial 911 immediately for support if you start feeling like somebody with you who has diabetes is about to faint or has already fainted.

What are the Factors of Risk for Diabetic Coma?

Any person suffering from diabetes can get affected by diabetic coma. People with diabetes of the type 1 are in bigger risk due to hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis. People with diabetes of the type 2 are in the risk due to diabetes hyperosmolar syndrome, especially in middle or old age.

People with diabetes of type 1 or the type 2, have the following risk factors for diabetic coma:

  • Trouble in insulin delivery: Check your level of blood sugar regularly if you are on insulin pump. Any bend or twist inside the insulin intake pumping tube device can block the insulin delivery. The person suffering from it may not even remain aware of it. This insulin shortage may cause diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in people suffering from diabetes of type 1.
  • Other illness, surgery and trauma: Levels of blood sugar tend to increase dramatically in case of any accident or illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis is caused in such situation to people suffering from diabetes of type 1. Increase of insulin dosage is strictly prohibited in such cases.

Diabetes hyperosmolar syndrome may occur in cases of failure of the heart or renal failure.

  1. People who do not manage their diabetes illness properly are more likely to develop diabetic coma with more complications.
  2. People who skip insulin deliberately to lose weight have higher risk of diabetic coma. This can even be life-threatening.
  3. People who drink too much alcohol may have uncertain or erratic effects in their diabetes. Level of blood sugar lowers after consuming alcohol and thus the possibility of a diabetic coma increases due to hypoglycemia.
  4. Consumption of illegal drugs like cocaine or Ecstasy increases the risk of increased blood sugar and cause diabetic coma.

What are the Possible Complications in Diabetic Coma?

Diabetic coma can result in to the following complications when left untreated:

  • Damage of brain on a permanent basis.
  • Death.

What Tests are Conducted to Diagnose Diabetic Coma?

Immediate diagnosis can greatly help to a person affected by a diabetic coma. Once the physical examination is done, the medical team attending the patient will look for his medical history. Carrying a medical ID card is intelligent for people who have such risk of getting sudden unconsciousness. The different laboratory tests which are conducted to determine the diabetic coma are:

  • Checking the level of blood sugar
  • Presence of creatinine or nitrogen in the blood
  • Checking the level of ketone
  • Level of potassium, sodium and phosphate in the blood

What is the First Aid Treatment for Diabetic Coma?

First aid treatment is crucial for diabetic coma patient. The crisis care for a person who has fallen in to diabetic coma:

  • Dial 911 to call the ambulance immediately.
  • Do not try to feed any food or fluid to the person who is in diabetic coma else he/ she may choke.
  • Get the diabetic coma patient to lie straight and turn them to one of the sides, to get abundant air to breathe.
  • Before the ambulance reaches, follow the instructions given by the operator on phone.
  • Do not try to inject insulin in this situation.

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Last Modified On: November 30, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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