What Are The Symptoms of Diabetic Shock?

Diabetic shock occurs when blood sugar levels plummet, causing a disruption in the proper functioning of the body and brain. A significant drop in blood sugar due to excessive insulin is called hypoglycemia; diabetic shock is an extreme result of this condition.

Diabetic shock, also called insulin shock, is a serious health risk for diabetics. It is important for people to recognize early symptoms so that the diabetic can receive the medical attention he or she needs.


Mental State

The brain is one of the first parts of the body to be affected by this severe blood sugar drop. Some mental changes that could indicate diabetic shock are:

  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Difficulty engaging in conversation

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms to be on alert for are:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Hunger
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Headaches


If the hypoglycemia goes untreated, the body will no longer be able to function and the diabetic will faint and become unconscious. This person will not be able to be roused from this state. His or her skin might feel cool and sweaty, and his or her pulse will be either extremely weak or rapid. If untreated, the diabetic may go into a coma.


With the brain not functioning properly, a hypoglycemic person may start to have seizures. When in a seizure, the person will fall to the ground and thrash his or her arms or legs. Muscles may start to twitch erratically.


If the diabetic has not become unconscious or had seizures, the best way to raise his or her blood sugar level is to eat or drink something with sugar in it. Glucose tablets are also a good remedy for hypoglycemia.

After eating a snack, the diabetic should test his or her blood sugar every 15 minutes and eat more snacks if the levels stay low.

If this person has lost consciousness, call 911 or take him or her to the hospital immediately.

Sources: Livestrong, WebMD
Photo: Pexels

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