FAQ - diabetic coma
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Diabetic coma?


what is blood count when a person goes into a diabetic coma?
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It depends on the person, and how you calculate your blood glucose results.  (+ info)

Diabetic Coma?


When I hear people talking about going into diabetic a coma what are they talking about?
I have diabetes and I get scared when I hear them talking about it.
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Actually, there is no set number for when a person can go into a diabetic coma.I have been a nurse for almost 30 yrs, and diabetic for over 15.....I have seen people go into comas at levels less than 300, and people not go into comas & actually have a glucose of over 1400....everyone is different....and since there is no set "rules" about when a person with uncontrolled blood sugar can go into a coma.....educate, control & thrive. It's very simple to educate yourself, take control of your illness & thrive.......  (+ info)

diabetic coma?


i'm a newly diagnosed diabetic with type 1 diabetes. I've learnt all the basics and such and how to handle different situation but i was wondering how long your blood sugars have to be high to go in to a coma and what level your blood sugar is at. I live in the Uk by the way if that helps in any way :) I know about hypo's but i'm still unsure about high blood sugars. Any information is greatly appreciated :) Thanks!

Also i'm 15.
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It appears you a bit confused about different diabetic conditions. High blood sugar will very rarely lead to a diabetic coma - it will lead to ketone acidosis as explained in detail by another poster. However, ketone acidosis and another high glucose condition (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome) can lead to a coma - again very rare for a coma to be induced by high blood glucose.

A diabetic coma is usually the result of extremely LOW blood sugar. Too much injected insulin drives blood glucose down. If not corrected (glucose tablets, juice, glucagon shot), a person will eventually pass out. The brain starts to shut down due to lack of energy - coma - immediate medical attention required.

Everybody is different as to when they will pass out due to low blood sugar. I have experienced blood sugar levels as low as 34 without passing out.

Whatever you do, don't confuse hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Research them and understand them. Know the symptoms. Always carry glucose tablets with you.  (+ info)

What should i do if a diabetic coma happens?


I'm recently going to move in with my grandmother because it's closer to college. She has diabetes, and I'm always afraid she'll have one of those diabetic coma things. If that, god forbid.. ever happens, what things can I do before the medics etc get there?
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First you would call the paramedics immediately! You always want to try and catch her before this happens - if you see her getting dizzy or extremely agitated (these are signs that her sugar is dropping) - give her a glass of juice or a piece of candy to get her sugar up. If she is in a coma already though, not much you can do until the paramedics arrive.  (+ info)

What are the odds of surviving a diabetic coma?


If someone is in a diabetic coma, what are the survival rates?
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There are many factors in that scenario: how quickly were they diagnosed and treated, their overall health, responses to medications, among other things.

If these are all positive, chances are good that a person will recover from the coma.

As a nurse, I have seen patients come out of diabetic comas, but if their health is poor to begin with, chances are worsened.  (+ info)

What blood sugar reading results in a diabetic coma?


Also, how long do you stay in the coma and will your blood sugar stabilize by itself or do you require insulin. If you do go into a diabetic coma and no one is around to help how long will you stay that way?
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it takes repeated day after day after day of high blood sugars to advance to coma stage, and there is no guarantee that anything will be as it was before the coma.  (+ info)

What are the chances of coming out of a diabetic coma?


My grandma is in a coma right now and from what I am told from my mum, its because she has really bad diabetes and that her body aches.
My grandma is about 85 years old.
she has been in it for about 1 day now
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Sorry to hear about your grandmother.

If she is in a medically induced coma, that is a good thing. If she is in a coma that came about because of a hypoglycemic attack, then maybe things are not looking good, but you never know with medical science these days ... they're doing things differently all the time.

Everybody, no matter their age, has a different way of handling coma. Some people get through the worst things imaginable, while others don't survive a bump on the head. No-one can foretell how strong your grandmother is, only time will.  (+ info)

How would I put myself into a diabetic coma?


I am pre diabetic and I don't want to deal with it anymore. I need the attention. Please don't tell me why not to do it, please just tell me how to do it. I know I am troubled too, so no need to mention that.
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I understand you don't want people to tell you NOT to do it, but no one "in their right mind" would tell you HOW to do it. That's plain foolish. There obviously has to be another way to deal with your depression with this. I am type 2, insulin dependent myself. Sure, I get sick of having to take the shots 4-5 times a day. Sure, I get sick of having to poke my fingers 6-8 times a day. But I am NOT going to put myself to near death just because I am tired of doing it. You need to value your life more. OH, let's not forget that I am also 22 weeks pregnant (high risk no less) as of tomorrow. Depressed that I have to deal with it?? You darn right I am!! BUT, there is always a way to get through it.  (+ info)

How long can someone survive untreated in a diabetic (hypoglycemic) coma?


It sounds really terrible, and trust me, I'm not planning on trying it. I'm writing a novel, and one of the characters is a Type-1, juvenile-onset diabetic. He misses a meal and so his blood sugar levels tank... He gets disoriented, and lost... so how long can he survive before the heroine saves the day?
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Of all the organs in the body, the brain depends on sugar (also refered to as glucose) almost exclusively. Rarely, if absolutely necessary, the brain will use ketones as a fuel source, but this is not preferred. The brain cannot make its own glucose and is 100% dependent on the rest of the body for its supply. If for some reason, the glucose level in the blood falls (or if the brain's requirements increase and demands are not met) there can be effects on the function of the brain. When the circulating level of blood glucose falls, the brain actually senses the drop. The brain then sends out messages that trigger a series of events, including changes in hormone and nervous system responses that are aimed at increasing blood glucose levels. Insulin secretion decreases and hormones that promote higher blood glucose levels, such as glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone and epinephrine, all increase. As mentioned above, there is a store in the liver of glycogen that can be converted to glucose rapidly. In addition to the biochemical processes that occur, the body starts to consciously alert the affected person that is needs food by causing the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia discussed below. The body's biochemical response to hypoglycemia usually starts when sugars are in the high/mid 60's. At this point, the liver releases its stores and the hormones mentioned above start to activate. In many patients, this process occurs without any clinical symptoms.
While there is some degree of variability among people, most will usually develop symptoms suggestive of hypoglycemia when blood glucose levels are lowered to the mid 50's. The first set of symptoms are called neuro-genic (or sympathetic) 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. Patients (diabetic or with insulin resistance) with high circulating levels of insulin who fast or lower their carbohydrate intake drastically should also be cautioned. These patients may also experience modest hypoglycemia.
Anyone who has experienced an episode of hypoglycemia describes a sense of urgency to eat and resolve the symptoms. And, that's exactly the point of these symptoms. They act as warning signs. At this level, the brain still can access circulating blood glucose for fuel. 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, most patients progress to neuro-glyco-penic ranges (the brain is not getting enough glucose). At this point, symptoms progress to confusion, drowsiness, changes in behavior, coma and seizure. Without medical treatment, Death can follow in a matter of hours or days depending on the individuals response and overall health condition.  (+ info)

Is it possible for a diabetic to tell if they are about to go into diabetic shock/coma?


If so, how? Is diabetic shock/coma a sudden event without any warning?
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Not necessarily. Most people with diabetes can tell whether there blood sugar is too high or too low based on how they are feeling, but this is not always the case. Even if they did feel like their blood sugar was too high/low, they might not realize the severity of it and go into shock before they do anything about it. If someone you know is diabetic, make sure they are regularly monitoring their glucose levels. Also, if you are around them a lot, learn how to check it and what to do if it is too high or two low in case something happens.  (+ info)

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Last update: September 2014
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