Common Diabetes Emergencies You Should Know

Common Diabetes Emergencies You Should Know

Diabetes type one and two both affect the body by inhibiting its ability to manage blood sugar levels. That causes a general effect on the physiological function of the body in ways in which this article will not get into today. However, these results trigger physiological disruptions that can render what is known as a diabetic emergency. A diabetic emergency can cause complications that if not dealt with as promptly as they appear may be severe to the body and even lethal. This article has put up a compilation of commonly experienced diabetic emergencies to help you get immediate care once experienced and minimize the risk courtesy of Bellaire ER.

Heart Attack

Ever heard the expression, “as serious as a heart attack” well it is quite a severe issue. As dangerous as a death rate of approximately four times for diabetic adults. Being aware of the symptoms could help you dodge a bullet as it may, given the fatal risk that a heart attack poses as a diabetic emergency. The symptoms include;

Chest pains
Shortness of breath

Whenever you experience the above symptoms, take no chances and call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.

Foot Sores or Injury

Having a foot sore or injury may not seem severe. However, if you have diabetes a foot sore or wound as minor as it may seem is an emergency. Diabetes slows the blood circulation to your feet causing nerve damage and also affects the distribution of the blood cells responsible for replenishing the injured region. That leads to the affected part becoming infected that develops rapidly and dangerously leading to a high possibility of amputation.

Some medical institutions have developed medically and provide what is referred to as “limb salvage” programs to help you save your feet from an unfortunate eventuality. You should learn to inspect your feet for sores, blisters, scrapes, and cuts. Minute and seek a doctor’s expertise once you spot any of the mentioned problems. You can also take preventive measures by wearing well-fitting shoes and clean socks at all times, and avoid activities that may cause harm to your feet such as clipping your toenails.


Hyperglycemia involves extremely high blood sugar levels which may be caused by inadequate insulin, stress, being sick or eating in excess. You are also highly likely to experience hyperglycemia during your recovery from surgery or after a traumatic physical experience. This diabetic emergency exposes you to a severe illness that is likely to cause damage to your organs and even put you in a coma. Hyperglycemia symptoms include;

Blurry vision
Excessive urination
Abrupt weight loss
Increased thirst
Dry Lips
Increased appetite

It is recommended that you exercise and drink plenty of fluids given that you will experience dehydration by the excessive urination. Following your meal plan and taking your medication as prescribed is also one way of preventing hyperglycemia.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a fatal condition caused by inadequate insulin. It is a resultant condition of hyperglycemia which mostly affects patients with type 1 diabetes. Insulin breaks down sugar for energy, and the inadequacy of it causes the body to burn fats instead. Fat is broken down for energy without being transformed. Thus it releases ketones which are highly acidic and poisonous. An excessive pile-up of ketones within the body leads to the condition known as ketoacidosis which is a fatal diabetic emergency.

The good news is you can test your ketones, which you should every time your blood sugar rises to a level of 240 or higher. These are the warning signs of ketoacidosis;

Rapid deep breaths
Abdominal tenderness
Persistent nausea and vomiting

Taking your insulin as directed is a sure way of preventing DKA. Seek emergency medical attention when you realize ketones accumulating within your body.


Stroke is the other heart disease most commonly experienced by diabetes patients. Two-thirds of diabetes patients who have suffered a stroke have ended up dead. Thus the urgency to deal with it as an emergency if you come across a potential victim of it. Once a stroke is experienced, the patient is left with a three-hour window in which a clot-dissolving drug can be used to save them. The symptoms to look out for include;

Slurred speech
Inability to raise one hand
Failure to make a complete smile
Inability to blink with both eyes

Vision Loss

Diabetes causes retinopathy as part of its developing symptoms. Not dealing with it on time could cause blindness which is a significant experience for adults within the age range of 20 to 75 with diabetes. You should seek the assistance of an eye doctor if you experience any changes in your vision, take for instance blurriness or spots in your vision.

Conclusively, diabetes is a condition with various health-threatening complications some of which are fatal if not dealt with them in urgency they deserve. With the tips mentioned, you will be able to sense danger early enough to take significant action to save yourself or your loved one.