HHNS

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
  • Fever
  • 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

Last Modified Date: November 28, 2012

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
48 Views 0 comments
by Carey Potash
I was called into a conference room where two men in their mid-30s were leaning into a computer monitor reviewing something I had apparently written and submitted to them. It was some sort of documentation explaining my need to be with Charlie in case of emergency. They seemed like a couple of nice guys and appeared accommodating to my requests. My outside-looking-in self didn’t know what to make of the animated images my dream self added to...