Diabetic Coma Types and Prevention
Diabetic coma come in the form of two types.
There is ketoacidosis, and also another type of coma called hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state.
Ketoacidosis is a very serious complication, occuring when the blood sugars are extremely high. When there is not enough insulin in the system, the body is going to fight by breaking down the fat cells for energy. The system then is overcome with ketoacids, which are metabolic by-products. The kidneys will then fight back by filtering very large amounts of sugar from the blood, which in turn, makes large amounts of urine. With urination very frequent, you become dehydrated and lose potassium and electrolytes. This causes a diabetic coma state, and can quickly lead to death.
A hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state affects people with type 2 diabetes.
If the blood sugar becomes severely high in a type 2 diabetic person, they become dehydrated as in ketoacidosis with type 1 diabetes. Urination is frequent, and will also impair the kidney's ability to filter out glucose from the body. This causes the blood glucose to rise further, and leads to a comatose state. This is life-threatening and can lead to death.
The most common elements that can trigger these conditions is flus, colds, urinary tract infections, or other stresses on the body. Insulin deficiency causes counterregulatory hormones to surge and in turn, severely elevate glucose levels.
Preventing these conditions to begin with, requires keeping blood glucose levels at a reasonable level. Your sick day management plan should be followed closely with any illness.
Hypoglycemia can also lead to coma when the blood sugar becomes critically low. Always keep glucagon on hand which is an injectable you can get from your doctor. This kit comes with a syringe containing a vial of an inert solution, which is crystallized. Included are a set of instructions so that potential users can act upon an emergency if needed. Even after recovery from severe hypoglycemia, you should eat something and monitor blood glucose, ensuring no more problems.