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Diabetic Emergencies - What To Do

You can save a life during a diabetic emergency!

Diabetes - Like most people, you probably know someone that has it. Diabetes is a very common disease. In fact, countless millions the world over are diabetics. Would you know what to do if someone near you were to experience a diabetic emergency?

What is diabetes?

Food is the body's fuel to provide energy so that we can enjoy an active lifestyle. Healthy bodies produce insulin that converts blood sugar into energy. For those people with diabetes, their bodies do not produce enough insulin so sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of becoming energy.

Diabetics must be very careful with their diet and exercise routines, and many must take insulin regularly to control their diabetic condition. 

From time to time, a person with diabetes may experience a diabetic emergency due to an insulin imbalance. When a diabetic needs sugar, insulin shock could set in. Insulin shock escalates quickly. It can be caused in a diabetic by a lack of food, too much exercise, or even taking too much insulin.

Symptoms of insulin shock in diabetics:

  • Pulse and breathing are shallow and rapid. 
  • Pale, sweaty, and cold skin. 
  • The diabetic person is disoriented, aggressive, or irritable. 
  • The person may tremble, stagger, or have difficulty speaking.
What to do in a diabetic crisis to save a life:
  • Assess the situation and call or send for medical help. 
  • Place an unconscious person in the recovery position, then monitor his pulse and breathing. 
  • If conscious, help the person find and take their diabetes medication. 
  • If he is too confused to understand what is needed, give him something sweet to eat or drink because sugar often helps. 
Knowing what to do in a diabetic emergency can save a life. Remember the steps in this article so that if someone that you love with diabetes needs your help, you'll be able to give it!

Article courtesy of St. John Ambulance.

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