(NC)-Food is your body's fuel to provide energy to enjoy an active lifestyle. Healthy bodies produce insulin to convert sugar in the blood into energy. For people with diabetes, the body does not produce sufficient insulin and sugar builds up instead of becoming energy. Diabetics have to be careful with diet and exercise and may take insulin regularly to control their condition.
Sometimes a person with diabetes can have a medical emergency from an insulin imbalance. Insulin shock happens when a diabetic needs sugar. This condition escalates rapidly and can be caused by taking too much insulin, a lack of food or too much exercise.
Symptoms of insulin shock
- Pulse and breathing are rapid and shallow.
- Skin is sweaty, pale and cold.
- The casualty is disoriented, irritable or aggressive.
- The person may stagger, tremble or have difficulty speaking.
First aid for diabetic emergencies
Knowing what to do in a diabetic crisis can save a life.
- Assess the individual and send for medical help.
- Place an unconscious casualty in the recovery position and monitor pulse and breathing.
- If a conscious casualty can tell you what they need, assist them to find and take their medication.
- If the person is too confused to understand what is needed, give them something sweet to eat or drink - sugar may help.
St. John Ambulance has training courses to help you to learn to save a life. For more information, see the office in your area or check us out online at www.sja.ca.
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