Hello, I have a dear friend who has had diabetes for 25 years now, but her symptoms seem to be worsening lately. She recently had a really serious early morning attack where she was entirely incoherent, did not know where she was, and could not get out of bed. Her family was anxious to do something but did not know if the attack was caused by low or high sugar and what to do in response. Though it seemed to be a low sugar attack, she also had strong acetone breath that is supposed to indicate high blood sugar levels. After a harrowing several minutes, we gave her some milk and eat 2 strawberries (based on the assumption that this would only produce a mild boost to her sugar) and she recovered a bit. At the (really bad) public clinic where we then took her, they said it was a low blood sugar attack.
I would like to know what to do if she is ever in that situation again, where she can't help herself. How do you know if it is high or low sugar in an attack and what to do? Is there a danger in giving something sweet to someone who is suffering from high sugar levels?
I am very new to this--my friend always seemed able to take care of herself until now. So any info would be very helpful.
First of all, two things. It sounds like your friend was confused, but conscious. But just a word of caution, if your friend is not conscious, or not conscious enough to swallow, never administer food or drink as this is very dangerous.
Second of all, you don't say anything about your friend's drug regimen. It sounds like she needs to see her doctor for a follow up to make some adjustments.
There are some really simple pamphlets put out by drug companies to help people recognize symptoms of low blood sugar and how to treat it; it would be useful if your friend asked her doctor for one of these to give her family members.
i would suggest getting her meter out and wipe her finger with either a wet rag or alcohol swap and test her yourself. Have her show you how so you can do it in a time like that. And if you go to www.diabetes.org you could find something to print out about how and low blood sugar signs.. no need to go to the doc just for that pamplet these days.
A fruity odor to the breath occurs as the body attempts to get rid of excess acetone through the breathing. This is a sign of Ketoacidosis, which can be life threatening. Your "friend" needs to see a doctor yesterday.
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