Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS)
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) can occur when blood glucose levels exceed 600 mg/dl (33.3 mmol/l), but ketosis (ketone bodies in the blood) is not present. With such high blood sugars, the body becomes severely dehydrated. HHNS occurs most often in the elderly and people who are on medications that raise blood glucose levels. Impaired kidney function is also a risk factor.
HHNS is a life-threatening condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms of the syndrome, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Excessive thirst and dehydration
- Nausea and vomiting
- Disorientation and confusion
- Sudden hypotension, or low blood pressure (as evidenced by faintness)
- Visual problems
- Extreme, unexplained fatigue
- In advanced cases, coma, seizure, and/or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body)
Treatment for HHNS involves administering intravenous fluids (i.e., saline and sometimes electrolyte solutions) to restore fluid balance. Insulin therapy may also be required.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
Mayan Iced Coffee Arugula, Fig, and Blue Cheese Salad Whole Wheat Vegetable Pizza Hummus with Raspberry Vinegar Swiss Cheese, Tomato, and Spinach Pinwheels Sesame Chicken with Asparagus Lima Bean Gazpacho Holiday Spinach Leek Dip with Crudites Coconut Custard Pie Indian-Style Curry Chicken
Lows are really nothing new to me. In the past (almost) 22 years, I've experienced every variety of low blood sugar. Two seizures, multiple black outs, the "I'm fine" at 32, the nauseating 85, and everything in between. That certainly doesn't mean that I'm used to them or that each low doesn't feel like a new and treacherous journey. They still scare me. They still annoy me. And they still overrun my life at times. Since I've hit the gym and the calorie counting on an aggressive...