Wilderness: Diabetic Reaction (cont.)
Diabetic Reaction Symptoms
Low Blood Sugar
- rapid onset of cool, pale, moist, and clammy skin;
- 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
- The person with high blood sugar may become confused or comatose, and death may result.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
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