Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma

What is hyperosmolar nonketotic coma?

Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma also called as “hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state” is a life-threatening condition. This can occur in people with type 2 diabetes when their blood sugar level gets very high. The word “hyperosmolar” is used when the blood has too much sugar and salts in it and the word “nonketotic” means that people do not have any “ketones” in their blood or urine. Ketones are toxic chemicals the body can produce when people with diabetes (often type 1 diabetes) have high blood sugar levels.

Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma is most common in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Generally it happens after a person with diabetes type1 or type 2:

 1. Gets dehydrated, which is when the body loses too much water

2. Gets an infection or other illness

3. Takes other medicines that affect his or her sugar levels

4. Stops taking his or her diabetes medicine, or doesn’t take the medicine as directed

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What are the symptoms of hyperosmolar nonketotic coma?

Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma causes a person to lose his consciousness and may go into a coma. But before that happens, patients very often have symptoms for a few days that include:

Losing weight

Urinating much more than usual. Having dark yellow or brown urine

Being very thirsty, and drinking much more than usual

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Can hyperosmolar nonketotic coma be prevented?

To reduce the chances of getting this condition again, people with diabetes should:

1. Always take their diabetes medicines as directed.

2. Check their blood sugar level often

3. Learn how to change their dose of diabetes medicine when they get sick. This should be done in consultation with your doctor.

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