Drunk or Dead?

Diabetes is common and getting all the more common all the time. It also causes a lot of stress on the body.

One of the many stresses involve something called DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis. I’m going to take about this for a few minutes just so you get the background.

DKA happens when a diabetic’s sugar gets too high. Now, this generally only happens in type 1 diabetics. It can be caused by quite a few things.

  • Illness
  • Stress: And I mean any type of stress, from the dog dying to illness.
  • Missed insulin

Basically, anything that doesn’t cause it to go down, which is exercise, and taking too much insulin.

What happens is the sugar gets so high that the person starts having some serious symptoms and, without hospitalization, will most likely die. Once they get to a certain point, and I can’t remember that point, they can’t just take insulin to bring it down.

They also end up getting very dehydrated.

So the treatment for this is to give them fluids, watch their sugar, and when it starts getting to about 200 or so, give them some food so they don’t go down too quickly.

So why am I telling you all this? Because someone who is having this starts to act like they are drunk, since there is just too much sugar on board. They smell like they are drunk. So they can easily be confused with someone who is drunk, and put to bed, when in reality, they really need to go to the hospital.

Another interesting fact about diabetics is that they cannot just drink alcohol. (Or shouldn’t is more correct.) If they are going to drink something alcoholic, then they need to eat something, because otherwise their blood sugar will drop.

So they take two cups of beer or whatever down, and suddenly pass out, that is not because they’ve been at it for so long, but because their blood sugar got too low.

A way to treat that, in a non-emergency setting, is to give them some icing n their cheek. The way to treat it in an emergency setting is to give them sugar or glucagon, which will make their liver release sugar.

Oh, one more thing: Happy birthday to me today. I’m now 22 years old. O.o

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About Abigail

I'm an elementary education major at a college in the Midwest. I might graduate as early as December '13 but more likely May '14. I write when I can. I also knit on occasion, draw, do homework and contradict teachers to make people think. :)

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