Diabetic Coma: Causes, What Happens When You go Into a Diabetic Coma?

What is Diabetic Coma and What Happens When You go Into a Diabetic Coma?

Diabetic coma is a fatal complication that leads to unconsciousness. Any diabetic person with extremely high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) level of blood sugar can be affected by diabetic coma.

What is Diabetic Coma and What Happens When You go Into a Diabetic Coma?

A person who has slipped into diabetic coma will not be able to respond to any physical stimulation except for being alive. Diabetic coma can cause death when left untreated or not properly treated on time.

There are very less chances of hopes in case of diabetic coma. However one can control his or her health conditions to avoid occurrence of diabetic coma. One should follow their diabetes management plan strictly to avoid a turn towards diabetic coma.

  • Diabetic coma is of three types, ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycemic coma.
  • Emergency medical facility is required in case of a diabetic coma
  • Hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia is caused by huge rate of fluctuation in the blood sugar level leading to diabetic coma.
  • Whenever there is any extreme fluctuation in the glucose level of the blood, the same has to be reported to the doctor immediately.
  • Never forget that “prevention is better than cure”. Make yourself more aware on diabetes and learn the likely consequences of the disease to keep yourself alert.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s) on Diabetic Coma

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis? Can It Cause Diabetic Coma?

A person can fall in to diabetic coma while suffering from Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The person will not remain conscious in this sleep-like state. This state which can be caused by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) or hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), can remain for long time or sometimes lead to death.

What do Ketones In Urine Mean?

“Ketones” are generated in the human body when it uses body fat for energy. Ketones are also generated when there is minimum insulin present in the human body which is not enough to convert sugar for energy. The glucose hence mixes with the blood since there is not enough insulin present to help it. This excess glucose breaks down the fat and thus Ketones are released in urine.

Ketones at a high level can be poisonous for the body. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is recorded in a person with high levels of Ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs more to people affected with low blood sugar rather than people affected with high blood sugar.

What are Ketones in the Blood?

When the body starts using the body fat for energy instead of glucose, Ketones is produced. This is due to insufficient insulin supply in the body. It is most common the diabetes type 1.

What Happens When You Go Into a Diabetic Shock?

Any diabetic person is always in a risk to face serious health issue due to diabetic shock or severe hypoglycemia. People who go through lesser physical activity have the risk of insulin imbalance in the body. It leads to sudden insulin reaction in the person. People with much of a stress due to their diabetic conditions can also fall to insulin reaction.

Even if the indications of insulin reaction are not much significant, but it should never be neglected. Hypoglycemia or diabetic shock can grow severe if not attended at the earliest. Immediate medical care is to be given to the person if he faints. Negligence can cause death or diabetic coma. People who the person lives with should be aware of the indications of hypoglycemia or diabetic shock to give immediate support to him if he faints at any point of time.

Can Diabetic Coma Lead to Death?

If the patient is not treated immediately or mistreated, there is always a chance of diabetic coma leading to death.

What Causes a Diabetic Coma?

Diabetic coma is more likely to occur in people who have dangerously low blood sugar or high blood sugar for prolonged period. People with regular fluctuating rate of diabetes may face diabetic coma.

  1. Diabetic Coma Can be Caused by Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

    Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) can be the reason for diabetic coma. The fat stored in the body cells begins to break down when the muscle cells run out of energy. Ketones are produced during such process. Diabetic ketoacidosis results in to diabetic coma when left untreated. People who suffer from type 1 diabetes are more likely to get affected with diabetic ketoacidosis. However, people suffering from gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes can also suffer from diabetic ketoacidosis

  2. Diabetic Coma Caused Due to Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

    Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can cause diabetic coma. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is determined in a person if the level of sugar in the blood is more than six hundred mg per deciliter (mg per dL). Blood turns syrupy and thick with larger sugar content. A lot of water supply is required in the body as the blood sugar enters the urine through the filtration process.

    Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can be fatal if treatment is denied. It can also turn in to diabetic coma in some cases. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is more recorded in mid age patients and older individuals. People who have both the types of diabetes are more likely to be affected by diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.

  3. Diabetic Coma Caused Due to Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia can be a reason for diabetic coma. Human brain requires glucose to perform. People with low blood sugar levels have higher chances of passing out. Higher insulin intake or deficiency in proper diet may cause hypoglycemia. Too much consumption of alcohol or vigorous physical activities too may lead to hypoglycemia.

    Indications of hypoglycemia vary on the intensity of the syndrome. Excessive perspiration, hunger or nervousness can be signals of hypoglycemia in people affected with low levels of blood sugar. For people affected with prolonged diabetes, the signals may not be alarming. This is defined as hypoglycemia unawareness.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 24, 2019

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