Diabetic emergencies


Our body uses glucose as the basic source of energy, which is derived from carbohydrates that are then broken down. The excess of the sugar is stored with the help of the hormone insulin.

In diabetes, people are either not producing enough insulin, or none at all, depending on the type of the diabetes.

Consequently, the sugar remains in the blood, and causes damage in its wake. People either then have to take tablets or use insulin to moderate their blood sugar levels.

The process of finding the right units of insulin and the right treatment regimen is based on your lifestyle factors and diet. Patients often have to work with the Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Islamabad in finding the regimen that best suits them.

The dangers of unregulated blood sugar

If your treatment plan fails to cater to your needs, then it has grave implications for your health and body. Having too much or too little of blood sugar, both are dangerous states. These can also be fatal as well.

Some diabetic emergencies include:

Diabetic Coma

Diabetic coma can be caused due to the two extremes; either the blood sugar level is too high or too low. It is a more common side-effect of DKA and hypoglycemia. Diabetic coma qualifies as a medical emergency and requires urgent care.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Also known as DKA, this condition results when the body resorts to utilizing fats due to the dearth of sugar. It occurs also when the sugar stays in the blood, and is not taken up by the cells that then look for alternative sources of fuel.

DKA is common with a case of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes, and with type 2 diabetes, it occurs when people are not managing their medication or diet well.

If the process of breakdown of fat is too fast, it may lead to accumulation of ketones, that is extremely dangerous. A common symptom of this state is the sweet-smelling breath. Other signs include lack of focus, dehydration, digestive problems like vomiting and nausea, dry mouth, peeing more frequently, rapid breathing and headache.


In this state, there is too much sugar in the blood. It is a dangerous state, as chronically high levels of sugar causes organ damage then.

Hyperglycemia is often caused due to poor dietary choice –indulging in too much sugar and other carbohydrates –, not exercising and eating more than required.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia include frequent urination, fatigue, infections, blurred vision, thirst, disorientation etc. It may also cause skin problems as well.


Hypoglycemia is characterized by having too little blood sugar. It may be because you have taken too much insulin, or did not eat properly after taking your medication. The symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, feeling extremely lethargic, being lightheaded, having chills.

Moreover, it also leads to pallor. Blurring of vision, inability to coordinate, feeling drowsy and hungry are also signs of low blood sugar.

Alongside causing hunger, it also causes irritable disposition and headaches as well. In this state, it is important to take some fast-acting sugar, like sodas or dates. Do not take complex carbohydrates, as they take relatively longer to digest.

Preventing the emergencies

There are other types of emergencies that can also occur when your diabetes is not regulated. Therefore, it is pertinent that you do not make light of the situation. Things you should be doing include:


Watch what you eat. Quit the desserts and sugary beverages alongside refined carbohydrates. Focus on eating whole grains, with sufficient protein and fats. Exercise portion control. Taking small and regular meals alongside being physically active is also important.

Keep track

It is important for you to keep track of your BSL by measuring it regularly.

Visit your doctor

Make regular visits to the doctor. It is especially important to consult the Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Karachi when you are experiencing signs of ill-health.

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