It’s known that severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may cause coma, but very few people know that hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may also cause hyperosmolar coma. When it happens, the blood sugar concentration is greater than or equal to 600 mg/dL (33.3mmol/L). If it is below 600 mg/dL (20mmol/L), the possibility of hyperglycemia can be ruled out.
DNHS (Diabetic Nonketotic Hyperosmolar Syndrome) is a rare but serious complication of diabetes. This disease is more common in elderly patients of diabetes, with a high fatality rate of over 30%. In the early stage, diabetes patients would have symptoms like thirst, polyuria, drowsiness, headache, dehydration, dry skin and so on. An internal environment of high blood sugar concentration is more likely to cause brain cell dehydration, and thus lead to coma. The elderly should drink enough water every day, but don’t substitute juice or sweet drinks for water, and avoid eating fruits with high sugar content.
The prevention of such disease should start with preventing various inducing factors (misuse of glucose or eating too much sweet food, infection, angina pectoris or myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accidents, drinking too little water, etc.). Firstly, step up the publicity of diabetes knowledge, detect diabetes as early as possible and treat it regularly. This step is of paramount importance in the whole process of prevention. Properly arrange daily life , have a regular and healthy diet, keep balance between physical exercise and rest, don’t strain yourself too much; pay special attention to water intake, never restrict the intake of water so that to avoid dehydration and pachemia. For elder diabetes patients, minor illnesses like influenza should never be ignored, they must be treated in time, or they are very likely to cause disastrous DNHS. Whenever the diabetes patient feels not well, he/she should intensify blood sugar monitoring and watch out for hyperosmolar coma to ensure early detection, early diagnosis and early treatment. In addition, some elder people don’t know they have diabetes, after sweating a lot in summer, if they don’t drink enough water or intake too much sugar, they are prone to hyperosmolar coma.
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