Diabetic emergency and control

Diabetes is a lifelong medical condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin or insulin cannot suppress the response to blood sugar. Insulin is a chemical made by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach), which regulates the blood sugar (glucose) level in the body.

Usually, our bodies automatically keep the right blood sugar levels, but for someone with diabetes increases blood sugar level because of a little insulin. Instead, they have to control the blood sugar level themselves by monitoring what they eat, and taking insulin injections or pills.

Sometimes people who have diabetes may have a diabetic emergency, where their blood sugar becomes either too high or too low. Both conditions are potentially serious and may need treatment in hospital.

Hyperglycemic emergency.

  • When blood sugar level is high and not enough insulin to response, this condition is called hyperglycemia.
  • If it’s not treated and gets worse, the person can gradually become unresponsive, going into a diabetic coma or may have other complications.
  • So it’s important to get them to see a doctor in case they need emergency treatment.

Hypoglycemic emergency.

  • When a body has a little sugar in comparison with insulin, this condition is called the hypoglycemic crisis.
  • This happens when someone with diabetes misses a meal or does too much exercise. It can also happen after someone has had an epileptic seizure or has been binge drinking.
  • If someone knows they have diabetes, they may recognize the start of a hypoglycemic attack, but without help, they may quickly become weak and unresponsive.

What are sign and symptoms of hyperglycemia?

  • Warm, dry skin.
  • Rapid pulse and breathing.
  • Fruity sweet breath.
  • Unresponsive condition.

How to manage the hypoglycemic condition?

  • Check response of the patient.
  • Call to the emergency.
  • Check blood glucose level.
  • Place person horizontal.
  • Start CPR.
  • Check pulse and circulation.
  • Check breathing pattern.
  • If the person is conscious, alert and can assess the situation, assist him or her with getting sugar or necessary prescription medication.
  • Whether the individual appears confused or disoriented, give him or her something to eat or drink and seek immediate medical assistance.

 What are sign and symptoms of hypoglycemia?

  • Weakness, faintness or hunger
  • Confusion and irrational behavior
  • Sweating with cold, clammy skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Trembling
  • Nervousness or anxiety Sweating.
  • Chills and clamminess Irritability or impatience Confusion.
  • Delirium Rapid/fast heartbeat Lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Hunger and nausea Sleepiness Blurred/impaired vision Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue Headaches Weakness or fatigue.
  • Anger, stubbornness.
  • Sadness Lack of coordination Nightmares or crying out during sleeps Seizures.
  • Deteriorating level of response
  • Medical warning bracelet or necklace and glucose gel or sweets
  • Medication such as an insulin pen or tablets and a glucose testing kit.

symptoms of hypoglycemia

How to manage the hypoglycemic emergency?

  • Help them sit down.
  • If they have their glucose gel, assist them to take it.
  • If not, you need to give them something sugary like fruit juice, a fizzy drink, three teaspoons of sugar, or sugary sweets.
  • If they improve quickly, give them more sweet food or drink and let them rest.
  • If they have their glucose testing kit with them, help them use it to check their glucose level. Stay with a patient. Until he or she feel completely better.
  • If they do not improve quickly, look for any other causes.
  • While waiting, keep checking their responsiveness, breathing, and pulse.

How to prevent hypoglycemia?

  • Checking blood glucose levels, this involves keeping a regular check on blood sugar levels.
  • Knowing how to identify the onset of symptoms.
  • Eat regularly, keep to an eating routine.


  • A heavy drinking session can trigger hypoglycemia. Individuals with type 1 diabetes should stick to the daily alcohol limits recommended by a doctor, and eat something after having a drink.


  • Regular exercise maintains your sugar level. Remember to eat some sweets before exercise.
  • Eat carbohydrate rich food.
  • Be ready, children with type 1 diabetes should always carry a container of sugary fruit juice or a candy bar so that they are willing if symptoms are felt.
  • Let people know if someone is susceptible to attacks of hypoglycemia, friends, colleagues, and family members should be made aware.

How diabetic emergency occur?

  • The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from the food we eat into different types of sugar molecules, one of which is glucose, the body’s primary source of energy.
  • Glucose enters the bloodstream after we eat. However, glucose needs insulin, a hormone produced and excreted by the pancreas before it can enter a cell.
  • In other words, a cell would starve of energy if there were no insulin around, regardless of how much glucose there was.

 How Blood Sugar regulations occur?

  • After eating, the pancreas automatically releases the right amount of insulin to move the glucose in our blood into the cells, therefore lowering the blood sugar level.
  • Any surplus glucose goes into the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen (stored form of glucose).
  • Insulin is responsible for bringing excess blood glucose levels back to normal.
  • If glucose levels have dropped because an individual has not eaten for a while, the pancreas secretes glucagon, another hormone which triggers the breakdown of stored glycogen into glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream, thus bringing glucose levels back up.
  • People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin.
  • Those with type 2 diabetes have cells which do not respond appropriately to insulin, they both tend to suffer from rising blood glucose levels, meaning that cells do not get enough energy.
  • People with both types of diabetes usually need to take insulin as well as other drugs, to bring their blood sugar levels down.
  • If a person with diabetes takes too much insulin, their blood sugar levels can drop too low this is hypoglycemia.
  • An individual who takes insulin may take the standard amount of insulin for that time of day, but has eaten much less than usual, or done exercise, that’s means insulin requirement for that moment is lower than usual.
  • In other words, taking too much insulin does not necessarily imply that the patient increased the dosage; it just means that the insulin made in was more than the body needed at that moment.
  • This can also happen when taking other types of diabetes drugs that cause the body to release too much insulin from the pancreas.