Diabetes symptoms can sometimes turn into an emergency quite quickly and suddenly. It is crucial to know the signs and symptoms of an emergency and what to do if one arises. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 12.6 percent of the population in the United States have diabetes, with or without a diagnosis. In the past, diabetes was often fatal, but recent progress in science and medication mean that most people with diabetes can now enjoy a normal lifespan. However, the CDC state that diabetes, or complications related to it, is still the seventh most frequent form of death in the U.S., and it was responsible for nearly 25 deaths in every 100,000 in 2016. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), greater susceptibility to infections, and a range of complications all increase the risk. Knowing the signs and being able to respond promptly may save lives. Read on to find out how and why diabetes can become dangerous, and what to do about it. Any sudden, unexplained symptom warrants a call to the doctor.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes prevent the body from managing blood sugar levels effectively.
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes reduces the body’s ability to respond to insulin. Consequently, the body does not produce enough insulin to manage the glucose in the body.
Most diabetic emergencies relate to disruptions in a person’s blood sugar levels, but complications relating to diabetes can also lead to problems.
Here are some of the most common emergencies that can arise, their warning signs, and what to do.