The 7 Most Common Diabetes-Related Medical Emergencies

Rapid treatment is crucial if you're experiencing stroke symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves, so just about every part of your body can be affected by the disease.

Diabetes care generally focuses on day-to-day living to prevent complications, such as eating right and exercising, but it's also important for you to know how to get help if you have one of these medical emergencies. Controlling your blood sugar can lower the chances of all of the following emergencies (with the exception of hypoglycemia). You should also keep an eye on your cholesterol and blood pressure to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Tell your doctor right away if you notice any foot injuries, no matter how small, because they can rapidly lead to amputation. You may be referred to a hospital if your condition is serious. Some hospitals and centers now have "limb salvage" programs to help you keep your feet, such as New York University Medical Center; the Wisconsin Heart Hospital outside of Milwaukee; Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; and University Foot & Ankle Institute at various locations in California. Ask your doctor where you can find the best foot-saving expertise in your area.

Heart attack
The death rate from heart disease is two to four times higher in adults who have diabetes than those without it. You should be aware of heart attack symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea; call 911 immediately if you experience them.

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Last Updated: June 09, 2008

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