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What happens during a diabetic coma?

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Quick Answer

Someone suffering from a diabetic coma will likely experience unconsciousness and not respond to any visual, aural or other physical stimuli, even though the patient is alive, according to the Mayo Clinic. Diabetic coma can be caused by both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. If the diabetic coma is left untreated, it can lead to death.

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Full Answer

One of the most effective ways to prevent a diabetic coma is to follow the proper treatment plan for the diabetes and maintaining daily control of symptoms and issues related to diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. These prevention methods include controlling blood sugar levels through a proper diet, testing blood sugar levels regularly to ensure that levels are within the targeted range (especially if the patient has exercised recently), taking the medications prescribed by a health care professional, checking for ketones in the urine when blood sugar levels do rise (especially when accompanied by vomiting), having glucagon or fast-acting sources of sugar readily available for when blood sugar levels drop and taking precautions when consuming alcohol (since alcohol can unpredictably affect blood sugar levels).

Other precautions can be taken so that the patient and others can be prepared in the event that a diabetic coma occurs. This includes wearing a medical ID bracelet, which can provide emergency medical information to others if the patient becomes unconscious, and informing family and friends of the possible medical emergency so that proper action can be taken.

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