LIFE

Diabetic Emergencies: Signs, Symptoms, And Steps To Save A Life

phil Phil Mutz

Diabetes is a serious disease that afflicts millions of people around the world.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in America alone, nearly 30 million people suffer from the condition, which amounts to nearly one in 10 people.

Diabetes can often go undetected, so it is important to know the symptoms in order to get a proper diagnosis. But if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is even more important to know when a diabetic emergency is occurring!

Scroll through below for an exclusive look at two types of diabetic emergencies: a hypoglycemic emergency (when the person is suffering from low blood sugar levels) and a hyperglycemic emergency (when the person is suffering from high blood sugar levels).

You’ll see exactly what signs to watch out for and how to respond if you suspect someone you know is having a diabetic emergency.

I had no idea about any of these signs, but I’m so glad I know now — it may just make it possible for someone I know to get the care and medical assistance they need!

Are you or someone you know living with diabetes? Let us know in the comments!

Signs Of A Hypoglycemic Attack
Sign #1: Sweating

<u>Signs Of A Hypoglycemic Attack</u><br>Sign #1: Sweating
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One way to know if someone you love is having a diabetic emergency of this type is if you notice that they are sweating profusely.

Diabetes.org lists “sweating, chills, and clamminess” as signs that a hypoglycemic attack may be in the works.

Sign #2: Hunger

Sign #2: Hunger
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Extreme hunger or hunger pains are also an indication that blood sugar levels may be dangerously low.

When observed in conjunction with other hypoglycemia symptoms, Diabetes.org writes that “hunger and nausea” can be strong warning signs that an emergency is occurring.

Sign #3: Rapid Heartbeat

Sign #3: Rapid Heartbeat
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The entire cardiovascular system can be affected in the case of a hypoglycemic emergency.

WebMD says to be on the lookout for a “pounding heart” or “racing pulse.”

This unusually high heart activity is a key symptom of someone experiencing a serious bout of low blood sugar.

Sign #4: Shakiness Or Weakness

Sign #4: Shakiness Or Weakness
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A sudden or gradual onset of shakiness or weakness may be indicating that a diabetic emergency is in the works.

According to Healthline, an initial dip in blood sugar can cause shakiness.

But as things progress, “plummeting blood sugar can also cause fainting” or even “muscle tremors.”

Sign #5: Mood Swings

Sign #5: Mood Swings
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

One often shocking sign of a diabetic emergency is an extreme shift in mood or behavior.

According to Diabetes.org, these mood alterations can include “irritability or impatience, confusion including delirium, nervousness or anxiety, anger, stubbornness, or sadness.”

What To Do For A Hypoglycemic Attack

<u>What To Do For A Hypoglycemic Attack</u>
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

After calling for an ambulance, the most important thing to do for someone experiencing a hypoglycemic attack is to get them the glucose (or sugar) their body needs.

There are many ways to deliver this lifesaving sugar.

Diabetes.org recommends giving the person any of the following as quickly as possible: “glucose tablets, a gel tube, 2 tablespoons of raisins, 1/2 cup of juice or regular soda, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 8 ounces of nonfat or 1% milk, hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops.”

Their symptoms should begin to subside as their blood sugar returns to normal, but it is important to get them medical attention in the meantime just in case things worsen.

Signs Of A Hyperglycemic Attack
Sign #1: Itchy Skin

<u>Signs Of A Hyperglycemic Attack</u><br>Sign #1: Itchy Skin
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Because hyperglycemia symptoms don’t show up until sugar levels are extremely high, it is important to notice and address any emergency signs right away.

Livestrong.com writes, “The person will experience hot and dry skin,” which can be observed through extreme or unexplained itching.

Sign #2: Thirst

Sign #2: Thirst
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If someone you know suffers from diabetes and can’t seem to get enough to drink, it may be a signal that a hyperglycemic attack is occurring.

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the “early symptoms of hyperglycemia” is “increased thirst.”

Sign #3: Frequent Urination

Sign #3: Frequent Urination
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An inordinate number of trips to the bathroom can also be an indication that something is amiss.

The Mayo Clinic lists “frequent urination” as one of the most common signs of a hyperglycemic emergency, which, when recognized early, “can help you treat the condition promptly.”

Sign #4: Blurred Vision

Sign #4: Blurred Vision
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Problems with vision can also be a sign that someone you know may be suffering from a bout of hyperglycemia.

The Mayo Clinic also lists “blurred vision” as a sign that this diabetic emergency may have taken hold, especially when observed in conjunction with other symptoms.

Sign #5: Wounds That Won't Heal

Sign #5: Wounds That Won't Heal
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Because a hyperglycemic attack can take place over a longer period of time, even a few days, observing that a wound won’t heal could be a sign of a problem.

According to Woundcarecenters.org, “An elevated blood sugar level stiffens the arteries and causes narrowing of the blood vessels,” which can be “risk factors to proper wound healing.”

What To Do For A Hyperglycemic Attack

<u>What To Do For A Hyperglycemic Attack</u>
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The most important thing you can do for someone suffering from a hyperglycemic emergency is to get them medical attention as quickly as possible.

Lay the person on the floor on their side, and call 911 right away.

The quicker this person is able to arrive to an emergency room, the sooner their blood sugar can get back to normal.

Knowing when someone is suffering from a diabetic emergency, and knowing how to respond, can help to save their life and get them the medical attention they desperately need.

Have you or someone you loved ever experienced this type of emergency? Have you observed any other signs or symptoms of someone suffering a diabetic attack? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE this lifesaving information with all of your friends and family!