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
Peachy Berry Cobbler Sweet Cornmeal Cakes Friendly Dog Salad Holiday Cranberry-Orange Pistachio Bars Enlitened Kosher Cooking's Own Mushroom Salad Chicken Salad in a Nest Roasted Zucchini & Pesto Caribbean Chicken Salad Seasoned Apples with Yogurt and Granola Creamed Asparagus Soup
Glucagon is one of those things that hasn't changed much in the diabetes world, in terms of packaging, dosing, method of delivery, since the time of my diagnosis in 1982. It's also one of those items that you buy in the same vein as say a generator. You might never use it, but it sure as heck is handy to have should your lights go out. The first time I was given glucagon was on the front lawn of my childhood home. What I remember of that night was going to bed after a...