Diabetes is a slow and silent disease that may cause little to no symptoms in the beginning. Without monitoring your blood sugar levels and proper management, glucose in your blood can fluctuate. It can lead to diabetic emergencies with potentially life-threatening complications.
You should aim for a blood sugar level between 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals, according to the American Diabetes Association. If your blood sugar falls out of the healthy range, diabetic emergencies might arise.
Hyperglycemia occurs when too much glucose accumulates in the blood. It develops due to poor diabetes management. Prolonged periods of illness and stress can also increase sugar levels.
Hyperglycemia doesn’t show any symptoms until glucose levels breach the dangerous 180–200 mg/dL mark. There are some early warning signs that you should be on the lookout for:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Blurry vision
A doctor’s prescription of oral medications can help avoid hyperglycemia. Insulin therapy can help keep your symptoms under control if you have type 1 diabetes. Your provider can also teach you how to control your sugar levels through meal planning, regularly checking your blood sugar, and medication.
If hyperglycemia is left untreated, it may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. When your body cannot use sugar as fuel, it breaks down fat as an alternative energy source. This process releases toxic acids called ketones that build up in the blood and urine.
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit an emergency healthcare provider immediately:
- Dry or flushed skin
- Abdominal pain
- Fruity smelling breath
When the number of ketones reaches dangerous levels, it can harm the body and result in a life-threatening diabetic coma.
Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome
This is a severe diabetes condition characterized by very high blood sugar levels in the 600 mg/DL range or higher. If you have diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, insulin is not as effective as it should be in helping glucose enter the cells.
When insulin is not functioning properly, glucose can accumulate in the blood at dangerously high levels and spill into the urine. Over time, the disease triggers dehydration as the body attempts to clear excess sugar through the urine. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately:
- Heightened thirst
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry mouth
- Warm skin that doesn’t sweat
- High fever
- Sleepiness or confusion
- Vision loss
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
Hypoglycemia is a condition when your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range of around 70 mg/dL. Most of the time, the condition develops as a side effect of diabetes medication. Left untreated, low sugar levels can cause a person to pass out, leaving them vulnerable to accidents. One easy way to immediately manage the effects of hypoglycemia is to eat sweets or take glucose tablets.
Episodes of hypoglycemia often result in hypoglycemia unawareness over time. This is a condition in which the body no longer produces warning signs of low sugar levels. If you have this condition, your doctor may recommend a continuous glucose monitor that can issue an alarm if your glucose levels drop too low.
Diabetic Emergency Treatment in Rochester, NY
Diabetes symptoms can turn into an emergency situation at any time. If you have diabetes, you can prepare by letting your family and friends know you have the condition and to watch out for warning signs.
For timely medical intervention, visit Cornerstone Urgent Care in Rochester, New York. Our healthcare providers are trained in providing immediate, expert medical services designed to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Depending on your condition, we may prescribe oral carbohydrates or intravenous dextrose to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Our team can also help with diabetes care through patient education, weight management, blood sugar monitoring, and regular checkups.
Our clinic is open seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 7 pm on weekends. Appointments are not necessary, and walk-ins are always welcome. For inquiries, call us at (585) 207-0088 or send us a message to let us know you’re coming. We look forward to helping you get better.