As per the American Diabetes Association, diabetic shock refers to the condition of abnormally low level of glucose in the blood. So, when the level of glucose drops so drastically such that even the desired or the normal quantity is not maintained, it results in diabetic shockthat is also known as insulin shock or hypoglycemia.
It is usually found in type 1 diabetics, particularly the ones who keep a very rigid control on their blood sugar level. However, patients with Type 2 diabetes can also encounter hypoglycemia.
According to the Diabetic Medicine journal, almost 15% of Type II diabetic patients who receive a regular insulin shot suffer from severe diabetic shock. Further, a majority of people with Type I diabetes experience symptomatic hypoglycemia at least twice per week.
These people are also more prone to suffer from severe hypoglycemia that can result in an insulin shock at least once per year. Irrespective of the type of diabetes, insulin shock is life-threatening, and therefore, needs instant medical treatment. However, for obtaining the most appropriate treatment, one needs to know the exact cause of such a condition. As a matter of fact, there are several causes of diabetic shock. Let’s look at them right now!
Common Causes of Diabetic Shock
Do not be shocked to know this! Over-treatment is characterized by the excessive intake of anti-diabetes prescriptions such as anti-hyperglycemic drugs and insulin for controlling the elevated blood glucose levels. According to Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals, an overdose of such medications is the common culprit of diabetes shock because it makes the insulin to last for long, resulting in excessive drop of the glucose level.
Medically, an over dose of anti-diabetic medication, especially insulin, certainly results in extremely low glucose levels. Apart from the insulin injections, even the oral medications such as glipizide, chlorpropamide, tolazamide, and acetohexamide, can trigger insulin shock, as per the Medline Plus.
A diabetic patient is always at a high risk of infections. Whenever she/he suffers from an infection, the body tends to use more sugar for combating that infection. Therefore, this results in low blood sugar.
Inadequate Glucose Substitute
Usually, high sugar level is one of the main causes of diabetes. Therefore, a diabetic patient has to maintain a normal blood sugar level. To bring the sugar level down, she/he usually tends to play some sudden tactics such as increasing exercises, which is continued even after regulating the sugar level, resulting in higher consumption of glucose level.
However, at the same time, the patient does not maintain the appropriate level balance by increasing the food intake. In fact, the patient favors skipping meals or having less than what is desired. Such an approach surely results in extremely low glucose levels, regardless of the exercise levels. In this case, the quantity of glucose in the blood becomes insufficient to meet the body’s energy needs.
The Presence of Insulinoma
Insulinoma refers to a tumor growing in the pancreas only. Its presence itself excites the pancreas for producing too much of insulin such that the glucose levels drop drastically. However, this cause is really very rare, as the tumor takes place in hardly one out of every 250,000 folks.