How Long Does Diabetic Coma Last and How is it Treated?

How Long Does Diabetic Coma Last?

When immediately attended and given the right treatment, the diabetic patient can be quickly wakened up from the diabetic coma. Late attention to diabetic coma might take more glucose to be given to the person for better healing.

How Long Does Diabetic Coma Last and How is it Treated

The diabetic coma is connected to the metabolic abnormalities which forces the diabetic patient to the coma. If the diabetic patient stays in the coma for longer periods of time or if the patient is unattended for long time, permanant brain damage may take place or in rare instances it may lead to death of the patient.

What is the Prognosis or Outlook for Diabetic Coma?

Diabetic coma can be fatal. Late attention may prolong the period of treatment. A person who has been treated for long for diabetic coma is recorded to experience a brain damage. This is a dire situation but can be avoided by taking precautionary measures.

Remain alert and aware to save yourself from diabetic coma. Manage your diabetic syndromes effectively to save your life.

What is the Recovery Period or Healing Time for Diabetic Coma?

Even after the sugar level is normalized in a person, he or she will still experience nervous disorders like seizures or talking problems. Problems still persists even after recovering from diabetic coma. The recovery time cannot be predicted and depends on individual case.

When immediately attended and given glucose biscuits, a person can be quickly wakened up. Late attention might take more glucose to be given to the person for better healing.

Following Up With Diabetic Conditions

Consult your doctor and take necessary guidelines on how to prevent any incident of diabetic coma or any other complexities if you are diabetic. Your doctor may prescribe you tests to determine the exact “dos and don’ts” to you on how to manage diabetes.

How is Diabetic Coma Treated?

How is Diabetic Coma Treated?

Diabetic coma is caused by three major reasons:

  • Severe hypolgycemia i.e., low blood sugar level
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis i.e., high blood sugar level
  • Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state

Thus the immediate action to be taken for a person found unconscious is to check his level of blood sugar. Therefore, when a diabetic patient is unconscious, the first action taken is blood sugar testing. If the loss of consciousness is determined to be due to hypoglycemia, the treatment objective should be to raise the level of blood sugar. For the rest two conditions, the treatment objective should be lowering the level of blood sugar.

Treatment for Diabetic Coma Caused Due to Severe Hypoglycemia

A diabetic person may lose consciousness and reach diabetic coma if the level of blood sugar drops to a dangerous level. Overdose of insulin or consumption of anti-diabetic medications can also make a person enter coma if he is suffering from severe hypoglycemia.

  • The glycogen supply of the body is restricted due to presence of alcohol in the system.
  • Less physical activity can also limit the glycogen supply in the body.

Glucagon administration is necessary for hypoglycemia treatment. Glucagon is released in healthy bodies during deficiency of sugar in the blood. The same procedure cannot be recorded in diabetic people as it requires administration of exogenous glucagon. Glucose biscuits or sweets are given to the person in such situation. In dire cases, glucose is injected to combat the situation. Diabetic people should always carry glucose biscuits to combat any sudden indication of hypoglycemia.

Treatment for Diabetic Coma Caused Due to Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs to people who have to take regular insulin for diabetes. Ketones are produced in a diabetic body whenever an insulin dose is missed. This can lead the person to diabetic coma. Ketoacidosis occurs to a person if he has faced any accident or is suffering from any infection. Isotonic intravenous fluids are administered to a person to balance the hormones by replacing electrolytes with potassium, sodium, phosphate supplements and magnesium. Insulin is injected through veins to lower the level of glucose in blood and reverse ketoacidosis.

Treatment for Diabetic Coma Caused Due to Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS)

People who enter coma from hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state (HHS) are reported to be suffering from dehydration and high sugar level in blood. Insulin is injected to bring the blood sugar level in control. Fluid is given to the patient before 30 to 60 minutes of insulin injection. The infection is treated by antibiotics. In rare cases electrolytes are replaced as per the situation.

How Can Diabetic Coma Be Prevented?

The risk of diabetic coma can be prevented with proper health care by diabetic patients on a daily basis. This can prevent any occurrence of diabetic coma. Follow the below mentioned tips for better control on your diabetes:

  • Maintaining a regular meal schedule is important to prevent diabetic coma. Eat after regular intervals of time. These intervals can be short.
  • One can prevent the stage of diabetic coma by checking the level of blood sugar regularly. Involve yourself in physical activities to maintain the blood sugar levels.
  • Report your doctor immediately if you have rapid fluctuations in level of blood sugar. The doctor will guide you with medicines.
  • Consult the doctor on how to manage your diabetes when you are sick with some other illness. Doctor will tell you best on the required medications of blood sugar during other disease or infections.
  • Check the levels of Ketones present in the body if you are on the higher side of blood sugar level. Take medical advice immediately if the Ketones content is found to be high. If you are experiencing tendencies of frequent vomiting, you should immediately take medical help.
  • Keep glucagon kit handy and other sources of sugar, like glucose biscuits, orange juice, etc. to immediately treat low blood sugar levels. Whenever you feel you are experiencing any indication of fainting or nausea, you should immediately take those handy glucose supplements.
  • Monitor the glucose level of your blood regularly. Use glucose meter to measure the level of glucose present in the blood. Whenever there is any symptom of diabetic fainting in you, you should immediately check your current glucose level and take immediate action on it. Remember, diabetic coma can only be restricted with immediate medical attention. Train yourself on how to use the glucose measurement devices and practice to use it during emergencies. Thus you can take the responsibility of saving you from diabetic coma.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption as it lowers the level of blood sugar drastically. Even if you are drinking alcohol, make sure you are having it with snacks. Drinking only alcohol with no snacks can have unpredictable effects on the level of blood sugar.
  • Spread awareness amongst your friends and folks on how to react to a situation if you pass out on any occasion. Teach them to understand the indications and act without wasting time. Any minor wastage in time could be fatal for the person. Educate them on how to administer an insulin injection to a person.
  • Carry medical ID to let people know about your diabetic condition in case you are unconscious suddenly.

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 29, 2019

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