Saturday, 9 August 2014

Diabetes - Learn More about Diabetic Coma?

Brain depends on sugar to its functioning.  Brain is not capable to manufacture sugar and fully depended on the supply by the rest of the body.  Low supply of glucose will affect the normal function of the brain.  When the glucose supply to the brain is not in sufficient quantity, the brain sends commands to start a series of body changes including hormone changes and changes in the nervous system, to get the supply of glucose as per its requirement.

A diabetic coma is usually the result of extremely low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Too much injected insulin drives blood glucose down. The brain starts to shut down due to lack of energy. Diabetic coma is considered as a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

In most of the patients the symptoms of hypoglycemia develops when blood glucose levels are lowered to the mid 50's. The first set of symptoms is called neuro-genic because they relate to the nervous system's response to hypoglycemia. Patients may experience nervousness, sweating, intense hunger, trembling, weakness, palpitations, and often have trouble speaking. In most patients, these symptoms are easily recognizable. The vast majority of patients with diabetes only experience this degree of hypoglycemia if they are on medications or insulin.

Anyone who has experienced an episode of hypoglycemia describes a sense of urgency to eat and resolve the symptoms. The symptoms provide a person the opportunity to raise blood glucose levels before the brain is affected. If a person does not or cannot respond by eating something to raise blood glucose, the levels of glucose continue to drop. Somewhere in the 45 mg/dl range, symptoms progress to confusion, drowsiness, changes in behavior, coma and seizure.

·         Watch a video about Diabetic Coma by Diabetes:


Causes of diabetic coma can be many such as infection, heart attack, stroke, recent surgery, heart failure, limited access to water in patients with dementia, older age, poor kidney function, not following the diabetic treatment plan as directed by the physician etc.


Symptoms usually show are confusion, convulsions, increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, weakness and weight loss. In some cases, more symptoms such as dysfunctional movement, loss of feeling or function of muscles, speech impairment etc. can be found. As result of this coma acute circulatory collapse, blood clot formation, brain swelling (cerebral edema) and increased blood acid levels may be occurred.


Important treatment to diabetic coma is to correct dehydration.  This will improve the blood pressure, urine output and circulation. Fluids and potassium will be given intravenously. High glucose levels are treated with intravenous insulin. The death rate with this condition is as high as 40%.

In diabetic coma, the patients falls into a state of unconsciousness and the patient needs immediate medical attention to prevent further complications.  If left untreated in this stage, permanent damage will occurred to the brain and sometimes the death is the result.  Keeping your blood glucose level always within the healthy limits is the most suitable way to avoid such health problems.

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