Diabetic Shock and Insulin Reactions
Can Diabetic Shock Be Prevented?
There are things you can do to lower your risk of diabetic shock or hypoglycemia.
One of the most important things to do is to understand the medication you are using, whether it is insulin or a pill that increases the body's production of insulin. Ask your doctor how and when to take the medication and be sure to always take the recommended dose at the recommended time. Also ask your doctor to explain when you need to make adjustments to your medicine when there is a change in your schedule or routine.
Be sure to follow your meal plan, eating the right amount of the proper food at the right time. Don't skip any meals or snacks, especially before going to sleep or exercising. Discuss your snacks with your dietitian. Some snacks may be better than others at certain times for preventing hypoglycemia. During periods of more intense physical activity, be sure to eat more carbohydrates.
Be sure you check your blood glucose level routinely according to the plan you've worked out with your doctor. Also check it before you begin to exercise and at regular intervals during exercise or other exertion. And check it again after you've finished any physical activity.
Discuss your use of alcohol with your doctor. Your doctor can help you understand how to drink safely so you don't increase your risk of hypoglycemia.
Are There Special Precautions People With Diabetes Should Take Because of Hypoglycemia?
Because hypoglycemia can occur quickly at any time, always be sure that you carry with you or have quick access to snacks that raise your blood sugar.
Never drive a car if you have hypoglycemia or suspect it is coming on. Diabetic shock can cause you to pass out behind the wheel. If you are driving and notice symptoms, stop and check your blood sugar. If it's low, take a snack and don't start driving until the level is back in the normal range.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or carry a card that identifies you as having diabetes. Be sure the card says what to do if you've become unconscious.
Be sure your family members know what hypoglycemia is and what not to do -- give you insulin, put their hand in your mouth, try to give you food or fluids -- if you pass out.
The most important precaution is to always follow the diabetes plan you've worked out with your doctor. Not only will it lower your risk for hypoglycemia. It will also help prevent long-term, major complications.