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Wilderness: Diabetic Reaction (cont.)

Diabetic Reaction Symptoms

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) Symptoms

  • rapid onset of cool, pale, moist, and clammy skin;
  • dizziness;
  • headache;
  • rapid pulse; and
  • shallow breathing.

If untreated, symptoms may progress to confusion, nonsensical behavior, coma, and death.

High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) Symptoms

  • Symptoms occur gradually over several days.
  • The person with high blood sugar develops increasing thirst and urination due to large amounts of unused glucose being lost in the urine.
  • Skin is warm and dry, respirations may be shallow, pulse is rapid and weak, and breath may have a sweet odor (due to a fat breakdown product called ketoacids).
  • The person with high blood sugar may become confused or comatose, and death may result.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/23/2013
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