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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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When does one go into diabetic coma?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 544 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 in Diabetes
Question: I have type 2 diabetes. The other day at work I became very tired and a little confused. I went home and checked my blood sugar and is was 480. (yes, I have an appointment scheduled to see my doctor) What I would like to know is how high does your blood sugar have to be to go into a diabetic coma.
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Answered by Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj 9 minutes later
Brief Answer: No set number, depends on insulin resistance. Detailed Answer: Hello, Firstly, I am glad you are seeing a doctor. Though honestly. With that number I would be asking you to head to the ER. A 'Diabetic Coma' or 'Diabetic KetoAcidosis' happens because your body is having trouble getting insulin to act correctly and allow sugar into the cells for metabolism. So your body goes into emergency mode and tries to use fatty acids that are stored up as fuel. When you burn these acids, they produce ketone bodies (which are chemicals that the brain and some other cells can use to stay alive). The thing is, the continued use of these ketone bodies will alter your blood chemistry (your bloods pH/ Acid-Base balance) to the point where other normal chemical reactions can no longer occur. There is no set point for this. It depends on how long you have been diabetic and how insulin resistant you are, whether you are currently well hydrated or not and a host of other factors. Never the less. If those numbers get much higher, I fear for your safety. Please get skilled medical care as soon as possible. I hope this helps. Thanks for coming to HealthCareMagic.com Vinay
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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