Emergency Care for Diabetics: What You Need to Know | AFC Urgent Care | Portland

Nearly one in 10 Americans today have some form of diabetes, and recent projections from the American Diabetes Association predict that those rates could increase to one out of every three adults by 2050 if we don't take preventative action now.

Diabetes is not only an extremely intrusive disease as far as daily habits and rituals are concerned, it is also a very expensive disease. The U.S. now spends about $245 million in health care dollars on diabetic treatments annually, and again, that number is only expected to grow.

Complications as a result of diabetes can be serious -- but the good news is that most situations can be managed with proper monitoring of blood sugar levels at home in conjunction with the advisement of family care physicians. The most common issues experienced by people with diabetes are extreme changes in blood sugar levels. Know the symptoms of diabetic complications and when to seek emergency care.

Diabetes Statistics

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Many of us have likely experienced the effects of low blood sugar when we haven't eaten in a while: fatigue, dizziness, shakiness, and hunger. In diabetics, these symptoms can be more severe and should be addressed immediately by providing the body with quick carbohydrates, like juice or glucose.

Untreated low blood sugar could lead to a diabetic coma; if blood sugar levels do not normalize within 20 minutes after eating, seek urgent care. If a person loses consciousness, call 911.

High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)

At the other end of the spectrum, too much sugar in the blood can lead to hyperglycemia, which may also require emergency care. Symptoms include difficulty in concentration, frequent urination, heightened pulse, and increased thirst. Minor occurrences may be treated with increased physical activity and exercise, but always consult with your doctor to manage your diabetes safely and effectively.

Diabetes requires around-the-clock attention, and if you or a loved one experiences complications, it's important to know where to seek help. A full 85% of all urgent and emergency care clinics across the country are open seven days a week to address everyday health concerns like diabetes management. Emergency care clinics also typically open early and close late, with two-thirds open before 9 a.m. and 95% closing after 7 p.m.

If you experience chronic symptoms of blood sugar fluctuation -- regardless of whether you've been officially diagnosed with diabetes -- don't wait to seek help. Find an emergency care walk in clinic right away.