Diabetics with prolonged blood-sugar extremes (either too high or too low blood-sugar level) may lead to a diabetic coma.
Causes of Diabetes coma
Many condition diabetes conditions lead to the cause of diabetes coma. They are:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) - If the muscle cells become energy starved, and the body may respond by breaking down stored fats. Breaking down of fats produces a toxic acid known as ketones and this breakdown is called as ketoacidosis. If it left untreated, DKA can lead to a diabetic coma. DKA is most common among diabetes type 1, but can also affect the type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes.
- Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome - If the blood-sugar level rises to 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 33 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) it is called as diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. Such a high level of glucose in blood makes the blood thicker like syrup. This excess sugar level is removed from the blood through the urine, which remove tremendous amounts of fluid from the body causing dehydration. If it left untreated diabetic hyperosomolar syndrome can lead to dangerous dehydration and coma. Hyperosmolar syndrome is more common among type 2 diabetes.
- Hypoglycemia - Brain needs glucose to function properly. An extreme low blood-sugar level may lead to pass out. Hypoglycemia can be caused by large quantityof insulin or too little of food or vigorous exercise or drinking lot of alcohol.
Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of a diabetic coma.
- Type 1 is more at risk of a diabetic coma caused by: Low blood-sugar (hypoglycemia), and DKA
- Type 2 is more at risk of a diabetic coma caused by: hyperosmolar syndrome.
Diabetic coma risk factors.
Some factors can increase the risk of diabetic coma they include:
- Insulin delivery system problems - If on an insulin pump, a kink in the insulin pump’s tubing may hinder insulin delivery. Lack of insulin supply can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Any illness, trauma, or surgery - When sick or injured, blood-sugar levels normally tend to rise even dramatically. This may lead to DKA in case of type 1 diabetic. Other health conditions, such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease, can increase the risk of diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.
- Poorly managed diabetes - If you do not monitor and control the blood-sugar level properly, then it may increase the chances diabetic coma.
- Skipping insulin – skipping or forget a dose of insulin as advised by the doctor, can increase the risk of having diabetes coma.
- Drinking too much of alcohol - Alcohol produce unpredictable swing in blood-sugar level, even it can drop glucose levels for a day or two after alcohol consumption. This can increase diabetic coma risk due to hypoglycemia.
- Illegal drug use - can increase the diabetic coma risk due to severe high blood-sugar levels.
If it left untreated, diabetic coma can lead to Permanent brain damage and even Death. However, timely treatment can help to avoid any undo incidents.