(NC)-Food is your body's fuel to provide energy to enjoy an
active lifestyle. Healthy bodies produce insulin to convert
sugar in the blood into energy. For people with diabetes,
the body does not produce sufficient insulin and sugar
builds up instead of becoming energy. Diabetics have to be
careful with diet and exercise and may take insulin
regularly to control their condition.
Sometimes a person with diabetes can have a medical
emergency from an insulin imbalance. Insulin shock happens
when a diabetic needs sugar. This condition escalates
rapidly and can be caused by taking too much insulin, a lack
of food or too much exercise.
Symptoms of insulin shock
Pulse and breathing are rapid and shallow.
Skin is sweaty, pale and cold.
The casualty is disoriented, irritable or
The person may stagger, tremble or have
First aid for diabetic emergencies
Knowing what to do in a diabetic crisis can save
Assess the individual and send for medical help.
Place an unconscious casualty in the recovery
position and monitor pulse and breathing.
If a conscious casualty can tell you what they
need, assist them to find and take their medication.
If the person is too confused to understand what
is needed, give them something sweet to eat or drink - sugar
St. John Ambulance has training courses to help you to learn
to save a life. For more information, see the office in your
area or check us out online at www.sja.ca.