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Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

What Is Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome?

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is a complication of type 2 diabetes.

It involves extremely high blood sugar (glucose) levels without the presence of ketones. Ketones are waste products of fat breakdown.

As a result of diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, the body tries to rid itself of the excess blood sugar by passing it into one’s urine. Left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening dehydration. Therefore, prompt medical care is integral.

It is less common than the other acute complication of diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

It usually presents in older patients with type 2 DM and carries a higher mortality than DKA, estimated at approximately 10-20%.

It is characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperosmolarity, and dehydration without significant ketoacidosis.

Causes Of Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome:

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome may be caused by:

  • Illness
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Infection
  • Not following a diabetes treatment plan or having an inadequate treatment plan
  • Certain medications
  • that decrease the effect of insulin in the body
  • that increase fluid loss

The following factors increase the risk of developing diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome;

  • A stressful event such as:
  • Infection
  • pneumonia
  • urinary tract infection
  • virus
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • recent surgery
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Impaired thirst
  • Limited access to water (especially in patients with dementia or who are bedbound)
  • Older age
  • Poor kidney function
  • Poor management of diabetes — not following the treatment plan as directed
  • Stopping insulin or other medications that lower glucose levels
  • Taking certain medications.
  • corticosteroids
  • prednisone
  • diuretics
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • chlorthalidone
  • anti-seizure medication phenytoin
  • Dilantin

Symptoms Of Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome:

The following symptoms may be exhibited by those suffering from diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome:

  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Dry mouth, dry tongue
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination (at the beginning of the syndrome)
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of feeling or function of muscles
  • Problems with movement
  • Speech impairment

Diagnosis Of Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome:

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is diagnosed via:

  • A medical history
  • Physical exam that may show:
  • Extreme dehydration
  • Fever higher than 100.4° Fahrenheit
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low systolic blood pressure
  • Tests
  • Blood osmolarity (concentration)
  • BUN and creatinine levels
  • Blood sodium level
  • Ketone test
  • Blood glucose
  • Chest x-rays
  • ECG
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood cultures

Treatment Of Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome;

Prompt treatment is required for diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.

Treatment may include:

  • Intravenous fluids to counter dehydration
  • Intravenous insulin to lower one’s blood sugar levels
  • Intravenous potassium, and occasionally sodium phosphate replacement to help the cells to function correctl

By : Natural Health News

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