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Diabetic shock is a condition that may happen due to a severe case of hypoglycemia. When a person has hypoglycemia, he or she has severely low levels of blood glucose. If the glucose levels get significantly low, the person may be in threat of going into shock. This can be a very dangerous situation, as the person can partially or completely lose consciousness. Quick medical attention should be given to any person displaying symptoms of diabetic shock.
There can be several different causes of this severe type of low blood sugar. A person with diabetes may go into diabetic shock following a dosage of diabetes medication. For instance, the shock may be induced by receiving too much insulin, which is commonly used to treat diabetes. The condition may also be caused by a lack of food, excessive drinking, an onset of diarrhea or vomiting and too much strenuous exercise. Although this condition is most prevalent in individuals with diabetes, any person can potentially go into shock if his or her blood sugar levels drop too low.
Generally, when an individual has extreme hypoglycemia, he or she will display certain symptoms. The person may develop double or blurry vision. He or she may also be impacted by confusion, nervousness and dizziness. Some people may come down with cold sweats and start to tremble or shake. There may also be convulsions, palpitations, fatigue and difficulty speaking and concentrating.
Some additional symptoms may also be present. A person may become really pale and the skin may become clammy. The size of his or her pupils may also start to change. An individual may become increasingly weak and feel as if he or she is about to faint. In fact, some people in diabetic shock may eventually pass out due to the extremely low levels of blood sugar.
A person with extreme hypoglycemia will need immediate medical attention. If left untreated, the condition could lead to a coma or a loss of life. Quick efforts will need to be made to raise the person's blood glucose level. If the person is in shock, he or she may be given glucose intravenously. This is the quickest way to get the substance into the system.
If a person is in diabetic shock, but still conscious and alert, there are things that may be done to prevent the person from becoming critically ill. He or she should be given some type of food product containing sugar, such as a piece of candy or some juice. An individual with diabetes may lower his or her chance of shock by monitoring his or her blood glucose levels at home to ensure they remain stable. Often, a person on medication for diabetes who suffers shock may need his or her medications altered to prevent a recurrence.