Diabetes symptoms: The alarming signs of a diabetic emergency – may be sudden

Dr David Lloyd discusses using diabetes drug for anti-aging

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St John Ambulance says diabetes is a long-term medical condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin. It explains: “Sometimes those who have diabetes may have a diabetic emergency, where their blood sugar level becomes too high or too low. Both conditions could be serious and may need treatment in hospital.”

The British Red Cross explains diabetes is a medical condition that affects blood sugar levels.

The charity says: “Normally, people’s bodies maintain the ideal blood sugar levels automatically.

“When a person has diabetes, their body fails to maintain the blood sugar balance, so they need to manage it through diet, tablets or insulin injections.”

The organisation explains a person who has diabetes can suffer diabetic emergencies, which require first aid.

The British Red Cross says signs and symptoms of a diabetic emergency vary, but common ones include hunger, clammy skin and profuse sweating.Other signs include drowsiness or confusion, weakness or feeling faint and sudden loss of responsiveness.

It says: “In most cases, the person’s blood sugar levels become too low. This is called hypoglycaemia. It can happen when the person has missed a meal or exercised too much. If left untreated, a diabetic emergency can become very serious.”

Hyperglycaemia is the medical term for a high blood sugar level, it is a common problem for people with diabetes.

The NHS says: “Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.”

It adds: “Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • Blurred vision”.

It explains the amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.

The NHS says: “When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it’s broken down to produce energy.

“However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced does not work properly.

NHS Inform adds: “It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it will get progressively worse if left untreated.”

For many people who have diabetes, Mayo Clinic generally recommends the following target blood sugar levels before meals:

  • Between 80 and 120 mg/dL (4.4 and 6.7 mmol/L) for people age 59 and younger who have no other underlying medical conditions
  • Between 100 and 140 mg/dL (5.6 and 7.8 mmol/L) for people age 60 and older, those who have other medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or those who have a history of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or who have difficulty recognizing the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

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