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Ketoacidosis (Diabetic Coma)

Diabetic coma or ketoacidosis, primarily affects Type-I diabetics. Type-II diabetics can also get it, but it's rare, and is called non-ketonic. Today, however, the mortality rate due to this complication has been brought down to 1 -2 %, thanks to effective treatment with insulin.

This type of unconciousness ensues when the concentration of glucose in the blood rises much above normal, a condition called hyperglycemia. When diabetes is very much out of control, the body cannot use glucose for energy. So, it starts burning fat for energy and the waste product of this process is termed ketones and the resulting complication is termed ketoacidosis (blood becomes highly acidic).

Ketoacidosis Symptoms

  • Excess urination
  • Thirst
  • Stomach ache
  • Rapid, erratic breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness—Diabetic coma
  • Hypoglycemia

    Diabetic may become unconscious even when the concentration of glucose in the blood drops much below normal (a condition called hypoglycemia).


  • Sleepiness
  • Trembling
  • Intense hunger, weakness
  • Sweating
  • Slight heaviness or loss of control of your lips and tongue
  • Palpitation, quick pulse
  • You may feel disoriented and angry
  • Confusion
  • In severe cases, unconsciousness or seizures may occur, called insulin coma.

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