If left untreated, severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can lead to diabetic shock, a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. Having a medical alert system in your home can help you avoid complications that can come from diabetic shock, including coma or even death.
Warning signs of diabetic shock
Diabetic shock can occur when a diabetic person has too much insulin in their system, too little food, or they’ve exercised too much. Diabetic shock may come on gradually or all at once, so it’s important to know the warning signs.
- Moodiness or irritability
- Shakiness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fainting or unconsciousness
How a medical alert system can help with diabetic shock
Over 20 million Americans live with diabetes, and around half of them are seniors. Medical alert systems aren’t made exclusively for seniors, but having one in the home can be extra beneficial to seniors living with diabetes. Here are four ways a medical alert system can help you manage your diabetes and help you avoid diabetic shock.
- Medication reminders. Some providers offer systems with medication reminders so you can stay on top of your complex medication regimen and keep your blood sugar within a safe range.
- Automatic fall detection. Seniors with diabetes are four times more likely to fall compared to those without diabetes due to diabetes symptoms like fatigue, blurred vision, and lightheadedness. Having a medical alert system with automatic fall detection can help you get help if you fall and are unable to get to your phone.
- Health monitoring. A medical alert system with a smartwatch device can monitor your vital signs like heart rate and pulse, and alert you if anything seems abnormal, allowing you to get help before you need it.
- Trained dispatchers. Medical alert providers often staff their call centers with medically-trained dispatchers ready to help you 24/7. The dispatcher will have a summary of your health history on file, allowing them to call the appropriate emergency responders based on your health history and medical needs. They can also alert your list of loved ones and doctor if you have a medical emergency.
Steps to prevent diabetic shock
- Monitor your blood sugar regularly, especially before driving, sleeping, and exercising.
- Always have a carb-rich snack or sugary beverage on hand.
- Wear a diabetic alert bracelet or necklace.
- Make sure those close to you know the signs of diabetic shock so they can act on your behalf if they need to.
- Keep your medical alert device handy while you’re home. It can’t help you if you don’t have easy access to it during an emergency.
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