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Recognize and respond to diabetes emergencies better

Diabetes is a condition which occurs when there is excessively high sugar level in blood. It is a lifelong condition which cannot be cured but measures can be taken to live a normal and comfortable life with it. More than 62 million people of India are affected due to it and nearly 1 million die due to diabetes every year. Such alarming numbers definitely call for tangible measures in order to recognize and respond better to the emergency situation which occurs due to disruption in blood sugar levels.

It’s sad to see that such a large number of people are affected by diabetes but still there is hardly any awareness and knowledge to deal with diabetic emergencies. Knowing the basics is the key to recognize and respond to such situations as it could be anyone familiar/non familiar to us who would need help and support at some time due to diabetes.

Dealing with Diabetic Emergencies

From identifying to taking corrective measures, dealing with diabetes emergency situations becomes simpler once you start understanding the symptoms and causes.

There are two syndromes:

  • Hypoglycaemia

It is caused due to low sugar in blood which can be due to intake of medicine that lowers blood sugar, excessive consumption of alcohol, skipping meals, exercising and overdosing of medication.

  • Hyperglycaemia

It is caused when the blood sugar level is too high and the signs of this type of diabetes are prone to infection (skin and urinary infection), illness and heart attack.

There are more chances of a diabetic person to have increased risk of heart attack or stroke than a non-diabetic person. People with diabetes may also experience kidney failure, loss of limb and blindness. Whenever such situation occurs the best is to contact the doctor and not try any home treatments. Expert medical help should be the priority as any delay may cause permanent damage or even death.

Other signs of diabetic emergencies may be confused/unusual behaviour, very low/high blood pressure.

Responding to Diabetes Emergencies

Recognizing diabetic emergency is the first step and the second step is to respond to it. It is important to respond calmly and swiftly.

  • Avoid treating the emergency situation on your own, and call an ambulance and shift the patient to a hospital.
  • Call the concerned doctor in emergency and keep their numbers handy.
  • Be aware and prepared with the initial actions to be taken before arrival of an ambulance.
  • A patient as well as his/her family members should know how to use the medical equipment used to monitor blood sugar levels and in case of an eventuality they should also know how to administer insulin shots to the patient.

Like any medical problem it is always better to be cautious and to keep a regular check on the blood sugar levels using a compact smartphone glucometer to understand the patterns and also allow timely action to be taken to avoid any sort of emergencies.


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