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Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

About the Disease

Diabetic hyperosmolar (hi-pur-oz-MOE-lur) syndrome is a serious condition caused by extremely high blood sugar levels. The condition most commonly occurs in people with type 2 diabetes. It's often triggered by illness or infection. As a result of diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, your body tries to rid itself of the excess blood sugar by passing it into your urine. Left untreated, diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can lead to life-threatening dehydration. Prompt medical care is essential.

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can take days or weeks to develop. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Blood sugar level of 600 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 33.3 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or higher
  • Excessive thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased urination
  • Warm, dry skin
  • Fever
  • Drowsiness, confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision loss
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

When to see a doctor?

Consult your doctor if your blood sugar is persistently higher than the target range your doctor recommends, or if you have signs or symptoms of diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, such as:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Warm, dry skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever

Seek emergency care if:

Your blood sugar level is 400 mg/dL (22.2 mmol/L) or higher and doesn't improve despite following your doctor's instructions for treatment. Don't wait until your blood sugar is high enough to cause diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. You have confusion, vision changes or other signs of dehydration.

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome may be triggered by:

  • Illness or infection
  • Not following a diabetes treatment plan or having an inadequate treatment plan
  • Certain medications, such as water pills (diuretics)

Sometimes undiagnosed diabetes results in diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.

Your risk of developing diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome might be higher if you:

  • Have type 2 diabetes - If you don't monitor your blood sugar or you don't yet know you have type 2 diabetes, your risk is higher.
  • Are older than age 65 - Have another chronic health condition, such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease. Have an infection, such as pneumonia, a urinary tract infection or a virus, which causes your blood sugar levels to rise.
  • Take certain medications - Some drugs — such as corticosteroids (prednisone), diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide and chlorthalidone) and the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin).

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can lead to:

  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma

Without prompt treatment, diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can be fatal.

Treatment Health Packages

We hold affiliations and tie-ups with most of the JCI & NABH accredited hospitals in India & can arrange the best treatment for you.

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