Type 2 Diabetes – Risk Factors Which Could Lead To Diabetic Coma! – Diabetic coma is a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by loss of consciousness. An increased blood sugar level, or hyperglycemia, or a decreased blood sugar level, or hypoglycemia, are the main causes of diabetic coma. If left untreated diabetic coma may lead to permanent brain damage and even death.
The causes of diabetic coma may vary and it mainly depends on the type of diabetes you have. Type 1 diabetics usually develop diabetic coma because of:
severely decreased blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia, and
diabetic ketoacidosis, the condition characterized by the excessively increased ketone levels within the body resulting from the incomplete metabolism of fats.
On the other hand, Type 2 diabetics, particularly those belonging to the middle-aged population, may develop diabetic coma because of:
diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, a condition characterized by the excessively increased blood sugar levels that are higher than 600 mg/dL or 33.3 mmol/L.
What are the risk factors associated with the development of diabetic coma?
1. Insulin level problems: An increase in your blood insulin levels due to excessive insulin dosing may result in hypoglycemia. On the other hand, insufficient levels of insulin results in hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are both causes of diabetic coma.
2. Illness, surgery or trauma: Injury, illness and other forms of stress may increase your blood sugar level dramatically. If you have Type 1 diabetes and you are undergoing some form of stress, you should ask your doctor to adjust the dosage of your insulin injection because physical stress may abruptly increase the level of your blood glucose leading to diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have Type 2 diabetes, the resultant increase of your blood sugar may lead to the development of diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. Other forms of stressors that may cause hyperglycemia include congestive heart failure and renal diseases.
3. Poor blood sugar control: Poor management of Type 2 diabetes results in increased blood sugar levels. If you are not taking time to monitor your blood sugar level regularly or you are not taking your anti-diabetic medications as prescribed by your doctor, you are at risk of developing hyperglycemia and, therefore, diabetic coma.
4. Skipping your insulin injection or injections: Insulin injections are prescribed by your doctor for a very good reason… and that is to have tighter control of your blood glucose. If you try skipping your insulin injection, you have a chance of developing overwhelmingly increased blood sugar levels, which in turn may cause diabetic coma.
5. Drinking alcohol: Drinking alcohol may be dangerous if you are a diabetic. You see, alcohol can unpredictably affect your blood glucose even up to two days after your drinking spree. Alcohol… which is basically the only non-FDA approved drinkable drug sold over-the-counter… is a big no-no with insulin, and all diabetes drugs for that matter.
6. Use of prohibited drugs. Illegal drug use can increase your risk of developing severe forms of hyperglycemia, hence diabetic coma. The most commonly used illegal drugs which lead to hyperglycemia include cocaine and ecstasy. Marijuana is not classed as an upper, but it also appears to increase blood sugar levels. The effect of the various illegal drugs are variable due to the fact they are manufactured illicitly… the potency of these drugs varies widely. If illicit drugs are taken, always check your blood sugar level.