Can a diabetic coma be prevented?

A diabetic coma can be prevented by taking steps to keep your blood sugar in the target ranges. Meeting with a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is an important part of understanding how to care for your diabetes.

Here are some recommendations on how to prevent a diabetic coma:

  • Be aware of symptoms for high and low blood sugar levels.
  • Check and record blood sugar levels at the times recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Learn how different types of exercise affect your blood sugar.
  • Learn about foods that affect your blood sugar and the best meal plan for you.
  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Follow instructions for proper dosage and timing of medications and insulin.
  • Check your urine for ketones when blood sugar levels are high.
  • Consider using a continuous glucose monitor that sends an alert if sugar levels are too low or too high.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
  • Learn how to manage stress.
  • Ask your healthcare provider to prescribe a glucagon kit and teach a support person how to use it in case you ever have severe low blood sugar.
  • Keep treatment for a low blood sugar with you at all times (example: 4 glucose tabs, a small juice box, or 5 Lifesavers).
  • Educate your family and friends on the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels.
  • Wear a medical identification necklace or bracelet to alert first responders that you have diabetes.

A CDE can teach you how to do all of these things and more.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/04/2017.


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