Being a diabetic and fighting the same itself is not less than a challenge. But at times in spite of taking a lot of efforts, some natural calamities hit you like a sudden traffic jam, heavy rains, floods, lift not working so on and on.
Diabetes is a syndrome and not a disease which is majorly identified as type 1 diabetes – where your insulin hormone is not getting produce which is responsible for the sugar to enter into your blood. Hence the insulin injections are needed as a must.
Type 2 diabetes – where your insulin hormone production is there, but the functioning is not so adequate and hence oral hypoglycaemic agents are given to keep the blood sugar levels in place.
According to ADA ( American Diabetic Association), a person with diabetes can face a diabetic emergency on occasions where an average person can face inconveniences like a missed dinner, lack of sleep or sudden stuck in heavy traffic.
What is Diabetic Emergency?
Diabetes might sound a light word and quite manageable, but at times it can be fatal if left unmanaged like if your sugar levels are as high as 250 mg/dl fasting which is known as hyperglycaemia or in other words, your insulin hormone is functioning too less or haven’t been made.
It can also be the case that the blood sugar levels go as low as 70 mg/dl fasting which is an emergency condition known as Hypoglycaemia where the body has too high insulin which can be due to overdose of medication or insulin injections as well or due to other diseases as well if you are not diabetic.
Type 1 diabetic people suffer from this type of complication; it is scarce in type 2 diabetes. In this condition, the blood sugar levels are as high as 500 mg/dl in fasting state, and also there is a build of ketones, which is an acidic substance in your body. It makes the body more susceptible to infections.
So now as we learn there can be diabetic emergencies which need to be taken care by all the people suffering from this condition so below are the list of symptoms which can be felt when one undergoes such emergencies.
Symptoms to be watched during an emergency:
When we talk about preparing yourself for an emergency, it is very much vital that you know about the symptoms which can face during a diabetic crisis.
- Sweating in hands and feet
- Dizziness and tiredness
- Clammy skin
- Sudden sort of discomfort
Now the glitch is that symptoms for Hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia are not very different and hence it is very much crucial that before incorporating anything to eat we check the sugar levels of the person and only then decide the line of treatment.
Must carry things by a person with diabetes for an emergency:
Below is the list of things which every person who has diabetes should have so that at the time of an emergency these can be used to save a life.
Diabetic Emergency Checklist:
- Extra pair of batteries
- Testing strips
- Cotton balls
- Astringent to clean
- Emergency ‘doctor’s contact information
- Blood sugar report diary
- List of things you are allergic
- Extra set of diabetic medication
- Extra set of insulin injections
- Consulting ‘doctor’s information
- ‘Doctor’s prescription
- Healthy Protein bars
- Jaggery cubes
- Glucose powder
- Carbohydrate-rich snacks – Marie biscuit/ Roasted Rice Puffs/ Diet Khakhra/Oats cookies
- Water Bottle
- Diary having emergency contact numbers
- An Identity card with your complete information stating that you have diabetes and your type of diabetes.
It is not all; there are situations beyond the checklist as well, e.g., if you are type – 1 diabetic and your sugar levels have gone low in those cases as per the American diabetic association it is not necessary for you to take insulin.
But in those cases, you can consume some direct sugars like candies and jaggery and try and maintain your normal sugar levels until you get your next medical assistance.
One more valuable information for all the people who feel that insulin can only be consumed if they are refrigerated, but in emergency conditions where the refrigerators are not available we can store the insulin in 15 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius for up to 28 days and still can be used.
Many times the nearby medical facility you visit does not have the same insulin which you are using and hence in case you have your proper checklist handy they can see the current line of treatment and help you with the similar type of insulin and save you.
What to do when an Emergency Occurs?
During an emergency, it is very much important that you keep your calm and start taking a deep breath. As a patient, not much you can do apart from taking preventive measures of carrying all the necessary things in your checklist.
Below are the steps which can be run on a diabetic person during an emergency before any medical help arises
- Firstly try and make the person sit 45 degrees in a very comfortable position and make sure there is enough ventilation or air condition around.
- The second step is to check the sugar levels, and the moment you get the readings. Accordingly, you have to act.
- If the sugar levels are high i.e. RBS (Random blood sugar levels) are more then 240 mg/dl, only thing you need to give is water with salt and very little sugar – basically you need to rehydrate the patient till medical help arises or in case he has missed his insulin or medication you need to give him/her the same.
- In case of low blood, i.e. RBS is less then 70 mg/dl one need first to give 10 gm of sugar with water, and if not available then one sugar candy waits for 10 min and again check the sugar levels, If it is still the same one more candy needs to be given.
Please be very much careful and do not give a very high dosage of sugar at an instant as the diabetic person can go in a diabetic coma state and which can be a very high insulin spike and can be fatal.
Diabetes is not a disease but a lifestyle disorder which can be easily managed with a lot of care and concern, similar you should always be prepared for any emergency as well, I hope you would follow the above tips and take good care of your health.