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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Needless Horrors of Coma in Diabetes


The sight of an unconscious person is sure to raise alarm amongst others around. It can also place a doctor in a quandary. A person who is known to have diabetes, may lapse in to a coma, because of an overdose of medication, or a failure to eat as planned in time, or because of unusual physical activity, results in dangerously low blood glucose.

A person in a coma, whose blood glucose status is unknown, may become unconscious because of untreated diabetes. A coma is the final outcome of someone who leaves diabetes undetected or untreated.

Unconsciousness is also possible as a result of a head injury in an accident. A person with diabetes needs additional measures in such situations, so a doctor in a casualty department should know if an unconscious person has diabetes. This is why it is important to carry information about this aspect on one’s person at all times.

Doctors can correct a coma due to extremes of blood glucose, by using either insulin or glucagon, and by re-hydrating the body. Blood and urine tests will quickly establish the reason for a coma, and whether the kidneys are functional. Consciousness should return on correcting blood glucose, but a coma may damage parts of the brain. A coma can also be fatal if a patient is not brought to a casualty department of a hospital in time.

A coma due to diabetes is entirely preventable through the simple measures of regular medical check-ups, and unvarying adherence to prescriptions for medication, diet, and exercise.


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