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Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most prevailing diseases all over the world. It occurs due to insulin resistance that develops in the body for numerous reasons. In this disease, the insulin your body produces is insufficient to utilize your blood glucose. As a result, the sugar content increases in your blood and causes irritable symptoms.
Diabetic patients need appropriate medication to manage their condition. The medicines used by the patients may drop their blood sugar levels to a great extent. Sometimes it may lead to hypoglycemia. Such patients are at high risk of diabetic shock. It is a medical emergency that can be fatal for the patients if it prevails for a longer duration.
What is diabetic shock?
Diabetic shock, also known as diabetic coma or hypoglycemia, is potentially life-threatening when blood sugar levels drop too low. It is most commonly seen in diabetic patients, particularly those who use insulin or other medications to manage their blood sugar levels.
Such medication can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar content, which can be hazardous.
When blood sugar levels drop too low, the body’s cells and organs cannot function properly. The brain, which relies on glucose as its primary fuel source, is particularly vulnerable to low blood sugar levels.
As a result, a person may experience various symptoms, including confusion, irritability, shakiness, sweating, weakness, headache, blurred vision, and seizures. In severe cases, Hypoglycemic shock can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage, or even death.
A variety of factors can cause diabetic shock. The most common cause of this condition is taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications. Skipping meals or snacks, exercising too much without adjusting medication or food intake, and drinking alcohol can also lead to this medical emergency.
If you are not eating enough food for a long time, you may also experience symptoms and signs of diabetic shock. In some cases, it may also result from an underlying medical condition.
Diabetic shock symptoms
Being a medical emergency, insulin shock can come up with severe signs and symptoms. Some of their symptoms turn out to be fatal for diabetic patients.
Here are the most common signs of hypoglycemic shock.
- Mild to severe headache
- Dizziness & confusion
- Irritability & anxiety
- Sweating & shakiness
- Severe hunger
Mild to severe headache
One of the most common symptoms of diabetic shock is a mild to severe headache. The headache can be dull and persistent or sharp and intense. The headache occurs because the brain is not receiving enough glucose, or sugar, its primary energy source.
If left untreated, the headache can progress to more severe symptoms, such as confusion, irritability, and dizziness.
Dizziness & confusion
Individuals experiencing diabetic shock may feel dizzy and confused. These symptoms occur because the brain is not receiving adequate energy sources. As a result, the individual may have difficulty focusing or processing information. If the individual is driving or operating heavy machinery, they may be at risk of causing an accident.
Irritability & anxiety
Another symptom of diabetic shock is irritability and anxiety. These symptoms can be a sign that blood sugar levels are too low. If left untreated, the individual may become increasingly agitated and anxious, which can lead to more severe symptoms.
Sweating & shakiness
Patients experiencing diabetic shock may also sweat excessively and shake. These symptoms occur because the body is responding to low blood sugar levels. The sweating and shaking may be mild initially but can progress to more severe symptoms if not managed appropriately.
Severe hunger is another symptom that is commonly associated with Insulin shock. The individual may feel as though they have not eaten in days, even recently. This symptom occurs because the body is not receiving enough glucose, its primary energy source.
Diabetic shock complications
If symptoms of Insulin shock prevail for a longer duration, it can cause numerous complications. Some common complications associated with this disease are as follows:
- Seizures, jerky movements, & convulsions
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty in speech
Seizures, jerky movements, & convulsions
One of the most serious complications of diabetic shock is seizures, jerky movements, and convulsions. These symptoms occur when the brain does not get enough glucose, its primary energy source. As a result, the brain may malfunction, causing seizures, jerky movements, and convulsions.
Loss of consciousness
A significant complication of diabetic shock is loss of consciousness. If blood sugar levels drop too low, the brain lacks enough energy resources to function correctly, causing the individual to lose consciousness. This can be a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.
Individuals experiencing diabetic shock may also suffer from blurred vision. This symptom occurs because the brain is not receiving enough glucose, which can cause the eyes to malfunction. If left untreated, the individual may experience permanent vision loss.
Difficulty in speech
Difficulty in speech is another symptom of diabetic shock. This symptom occurs because your organs are not getting enough supplies of glucose, which can cause the muscles in the mouth and throat to malfunction. The individual may have difficulty speaking clearly or may slur their words.
Many risk factors are associated with Insulin shock. Here are some common risk factors that can lead to this fatal condition.
- Insulin delivery problems
- An illness, trauma, or surgery
- Poorly managed diabetes
- Deliberately skipping meals or insulin
- Drinking alcohol
- Drug abuse
Insulin delivery problems
Individuals who use insulin to manage their blood sugar levels are at risk of diabetic shock if they have issues with insulin delivery. This could include injecting too much insulin, not enough insulin, or injecting insulin into the wrong location.
An illness, trauma, or surgery
An illness, trauma, or surgery can also increase the risk of diabetic shock. These conditions can cause stress on the body, leading to a drop in blood sugar levels.
Additionally, medications used to manage these conditions may interact with diabetes medications, leading to low blood sugar levels.
Poorly managed diabetes
Individuals with poorly managed diabetes are at increased risk of diabetic shock. This can occur if blood sugar levels are consistently too high, leading to insulin resistance, or if blood sugar levels are not monitored and managed properly.
Deliberately skipping meals or insulin
Skipping meals or insulin doses can also increase the risk of diabetic shock. This can occur if an individual intentionally skips a meal or insulin dose or cannot eat or take insulin due to circumstances beyond their control.
Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of diabetic shock. Alcohol can interfere with the liver’s ability to release glucose, leading to low blood sugar levels.
Additionally, alcohol can affect the absorption and metabolism of diabetes medications, leading to further complications.
Drug abuse can also increase the risk of diabetic shock. Drugs such as cocaine and heroin can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, leading to low blood sugar levels. Additionally, drug abuse can lead to poor self-care and management of diabetes, leading to further complications.
Does diabetic shock cause death?
Diabetic shock is a medical emergency. The symptoms of this condition may progress and gain severity. If left untreated, diabetic shock can cause death. Severe hypoglycemia can cause irreversible brain damage, seizures, and respiratory failure, which can be fatal.
It is important to seek immediate medical attention if experiencing symptoms of a diabetic shock to prevent more severe complications, including death.
How to manage diabetic shock?
Managing diabetic shock, hypoglycemia, or insulin shock is critical to preventing serious complications. Here are some steps to manage diabetic shock
- Check blood sugar levels
- Consume fast-acting carbohydrates
- Rest & monitor symptoms
- Seek medical attention
Check blood sugar levels
The first step in managing diabetic shock is to check blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar level is below 70 mg/dL, this could indicate hypoglycemia. By monitoring it regularly, you can devise a better plan to optimize your sugar level.
Consume fast-acting carbohydrates
If blood sugar levels are low, consuming fast-acting carbohydrates can help raise blood sugar levels quickly. Examples of fast-acting carbohydrates include fruit juice, soda, candy, or glucose gel.
Rest & monitor symptoms
After consuming fast-acting carbohydrates, it is essential to rest and monitor symptoms. If symptoms improve, monitor blood sugar levels to ensure they stay within a healthy range. If symptoms do not improve, seek medical attention immediately.
Seek medical attention
If symptoms of diabetic shock are severe or do not improve after consuming fast-acting carbohydrates, seek medical attention immediately. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death if left untreated. Therefore, you must seek medical help promptly.
Preventing diabetic shock is also critical in managing the condition. This can be done by regularly monitoring blood sugar levels, taking prescribed medications, and eating regular meals. Additionally, avoiding skipping meals or snacks and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can help prevent diabetic shock.
Importance of CGM systems for diabetic shock
Patients always look for efficient tools that prevent them from Hazardous complications. One of the best devices that have earned significant popularity in the market is the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system.
Many CGMs in the market provide real-time navigation of your blood glucose levels. This gadget also acts as an assistive device for diabetic shock prevention. With the blessing of this device, you can get alerts before reaching a hypoglycemic state. This way, you can take appropriate precautions before having an Insulin Shock.
Best CGM systems in the market
Numerous CGM systems are available in the market. However, Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 have earned significant popularity in the market due to their unique features. Both these devices are highly accurate.
The sensors of these CGMs are also compact and easy to be used by users. You can install them once, providing you with a 24-hour attachment to your skin for several days.
Where to buy?
You can find many platforms to buy your desirable CGM system. Many pharmacies and diabetic shops are supplying Dexcom G7 and Freestyle Libre 3.
However, if you want original devices at affordable rates, go to cgmmonitors.com. On this website, you find the best quality and genuine CGM devices without burdening your pocket.
Diabetic shock is a medical emergency that is primarily caused by severe hypoglycemia. It is more common among diabetic patients because they face marked fluctuations in their blood glucose levels.
It can be caused due to high dosages of insulin or poor diet intake and strenuous exercise. Signs and symptoms of this hazardous condition include; headache, dizziness, anxiety, and blurred vision. If the condition progresses, patients suffer from certain complications, including; loss of consciousness, seizures, and even death.
Prevention is always better than cure in such circumstances. You must monitor your glucose levels constantly to avoid such conditions. If the symptoms appear, take action immediately by consuming significant amounts of Carbs.
CGM devices can be advantageous in managing conditions like a hypoglycemic shock.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Diabetic Shock?
Diabetic shock is a life-threatening condition caused by low blood sugar levels that can lead to confusion, seizures, unconsciousness, and even death.
What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Shock?
Symptoms of diabetic shock include headaches, dizziness, confusion, irritability, anxiety, sweating, shakiness, and severe hunger.
What are the Complications of Diabetic Shock?
Complications of diabetic shock include seizures, loss of consciousness, blurred vision, and difficulty in speech, which can be permanent if left untreated.
What Causes Diabetic Shock?
Taking too much insulin, skipping meals, exercising too much without adjusting medication, drinking alcohol, and underlying medical conditions can cause diabetic shock.
What are the Risk Factors for Diabetic Shock?
Risk factors for diabetic shock include insulin delivery problems, medication errors, inadequate food intake, and underlying medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease.