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Diabetes Overview
Types of Diabetes
Glucose Meters
Long-term Complications

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Diabetes Symptoms & Emergencies

If you are diabetic and find yourself or a loved in in any of these serious situations, contact your physician right away! While diabetes is a manageable disease, there are several potentially serious conditions.

  • Mental status abnormalities including agitation, irritability, lethargy and confusion are big hints of either very low or very high blood sugar levels. If the person is a known diabetic, try giving the person a small amount of juice. If the person does not return to a normal mental state within 10 minutes, call your physician right away!
  • High fever (>101.5 oF) is a sign of infection. Prolonged fever in diabetics can be dangerous. Take note of other symptoms you may have and call your physician.
  • Nausea may occur in conjunction with vomiting. If you have diabetes and cannot eat or drink anything and keep in down, you may have a complication of diabetes including diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic non-ketotic hyperosmolar diabetic syndrome. Consult your physician before you attempt to take any medications.
  • If you are a known diabetic and have measured your blood sugar levels to be greater than 400mg/dL, seek prompt attention as this condition can be fatal.
  • Large ulcers, sores, cuts or lacerations of the skin need attention. Without proper wound care, these conditions often lead to amputation. Pay particularly close attention to your lower extremities.
  • Severe chest or abdominal pain are considered emergencies in diabetics. Heart attacks, shortness of breath and abdominal aortic aneurysms are common emergencies


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This information is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice.