A diabetic can develop hyperglycemia (raised blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Giving sugar will be lifesaving if blood sugar is low, and is unlikely to do harm if sugar levels are raised. Diabetics usually know how to control their condition, but even people who’ve had diabetes for years or decades may be susceptible to an attack.
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) Symptoms:
This can occur if the blood sugar-insulin balance is incorrect. A person with diabetes often recognizes the warning signs:
- Feels shaky and weak
- Skin is pale and feels cold and clammy
- Confused, irritable, and behaving irrationally
- Rapid, but full and pounding pulse; patient may tell you that his heart is pounding
- Patient will quickly lose consciousness if he is not given some sugar
If you know a patient has diabetes and he fails to respond to sugar or his condition begins to worsen, call for medical help immediately. A person recently diagnosed with diabetes is more susceptible to a “hypo” attack, especially while he is becoming used to balancing his sugar-insulin levels.