Comas in diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemic coma , comatose conditions, first aid, emergency, types of coma

Digestive tract
Associated diseases
Direct diseases


coma and diabetes mellitusComa for diabetics is one of the most dangerous and acute complication related to their main disease. Coma may appear due to relative or absolute deficiency of insulin in patient’s organism and disorders of the metabolism.

There are two types of coma for diabetics: hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic. The first one appears under quick blood sugar level decrease, while the second one when blood sugar level increases quickly.

Types of coma in diabetes mellitus

Hypoglycemic coma is a complication of diabetes caused by insulin overdose or when glucose level gets or remains low after the insulin injection. Appearance of hypoglycemic coma is possible when person that suffers from diabetes mellitus has heavy physical activities in big quantities.

The symptoms of hypoglycemic coma are progressing quickly: in a half of hour or even faster. In that case patient feels a strong hunger, weakness and hyper-sweating, some psycho disorders are also possible too. Later patient may faint, but pulse, arterial pressure and breath will remain normal. Diabetic in coma is manifested by humid skin, muscles contraction, stronger in comparison to normal tendon reflex that is why some convulsions are possible. Eye pupils of diabetic are widened when patient undergoes hypoglycemic coma. The urinal glucose level is under 3 mmol/L.

Comatose and first aid in coma state

Coma in diabetes mellitusUntil time when first symptoms of hypoglycemic coma were manifested first aid must be provided to a patient with diabetes immediately. Any kind of sweetish tea or glucose in any form - sweet, sugar should be given to the patient. Also patient should get warm, especially feet and then immediately without any time loss call an ambulance. In this condition patient needs emergency medical care because the comatose state may lead to cerebral edema that can be lethal.

The hyperglycemic coma has a longer period of development in comparison to hypoglycemia and it lasts from 1.5 to 2 weeks. But that does not make it less dangerous for patient. Primary causes of hyperglycemic comatose condition may be insufficient quantity of insulin or disorders in diabetic's diet, when organism obtains too much fat food rich in carbohydrates.

First signs of hyperglycemic coma that can be found in diabetics are patient’s apathy and drowsing. Patient is conscious and buzzing in ears and headache appears in short time. Skin gets dry, muscles lose tonus. Patient's breath has acetone odor. The blood glucose level is up to 20 mmol/L, analyses of the urine show glycosuria (3-5%) and acetonuria (+++). Patient’s consciousness is disordered and disturbed and he or she falls asleep into coma. The skin of patient gets dry and cold, eye pupils get narrower. Patient’s breathe in hyperglycemic coma is shallow with acetone odor, then patient suffers from hypotension and has filiform pulse, occlusive heart tones. No tendon reflex can be observed.

The patient in hyperglycemic coma state needs emergency medical care therefore it is necessary to call an ambulance immediately and do nothing on your own!