When to go to. the ER??

By calayx Latest Reply 2014-10-29 03:33:21 -0500
Started 2014-10-28 00:08:45 -0500

I get very lows and occasionally very highs. When is it time to go to the ER? I'm confused.


8 replies

Glucerna 2014-10-28 16:02:23 -0500 Report

This is a great conversation to have with your doctor, and since you have questions you might also ask your doctor for a referral to a diabetes educator. The diabetes educator can answer your questions and also help problem solve what's causing the lows and highs. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Type1Lou 2014-10-28 12:07:14 -0500 Report

The lows present a more immediate danger as they come on faster than diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which is due to high BG's. Over my years with diabetes, I wound up in the ER several times with serious lows, but others had to get me there because I was too far gone to even realize I needed help. We started carrying a glucagon kit and my husband learned how to administer that to bring my BG's up rapidly. If you are aware that your BG is dropping, make certain to eat a FAST ACTING glucose source to bring it back up. (Following the 15/15 rule James noted). Fast acting glucose can be regular soda, juice, raisins, glucose tabs or gels, Life savers, jelly beans, plain sugar in water will also work. Avoid anything like cakes, cookies, candy bars because they will not work as fast; the fats in them actually slow up the absorption of glucose into your system. I was also hospitalized once with DKA due to prolonged high BG"s. That is also life threatening but usually requires your BG"s to be uncontrollably high for a longer period of time. In my case, I had been away on vacation and battling a flu, treating it without realizing that the infection also caused my BG's to be higher over several days. It was early in my diagnosis, around 1978. Of course, the best approach is to avoid the extreme highs and lows if at all possible, but that is easier said than done.

GabbyPA 2014-10-28 06:40:48 -0500 Report

Anytime you cannot get control of your levels is a time to go. For some it's over 400, but for many it is when a meter cannot tell you how high you are and just says "hi". If you cannot get it down to where it can be read in a half hour or so, it's time to go. When you are that high, water and insulin if you take it are your best bets. You shouldn't attempt exercise if you are over 300 as it can make it worse.

Same with lows, but usually if you have to go to the ER, you are already too confused to get there. You would have to have a friend or family member take you, or call 911. James shared about the 15/15 rule and that is the first step. But it if doesn't work to get you back up, call someone.

Every body works differently, and I know for me, I can tell when I don't feel safe. For me, lows make me feel the worst and the most vulnerable. I have never had to go to the ER for a glucose level. I hope I never have to.

lilleyheidi 2014-10-28 01:10:31 -0500 Report

Every person is individual, so I would suggest speaking to your doctor about when he/she recommends going to the ER for treatment. For me, i have only had to go to the ER a few times, although now looking back I probably should have gone a few more times, it was for highs, and I was over 500, I was given an IV insulin treatment until my BG came down to a "normal" level and then sent home. I do think you should speak to your doctor about what they recommend.

jayabee52 2014-10-28 00:33:26 -0500 Report

Howdy Calyx
I can only answer for myself as different ppl have different reasons for going to the ER.

For me, it is when something is happening with my body that I cannot control by myself.

For instance, when my late wife got cortisone injections sometimes her BG (blood glucose) levels would exceed the meter's capability to read her BG. I knew that If she didn't get her BG down quickly she could stroke out, or go into a coma. The ER Docs put her on an insulin IV drip and would check on her every half hour until her BG levels came closer to normal. Then they let us go home.

Another thing which would send me to the ER would be having a low episode and I followed the 15/15 rule ~ http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-discu...
if I did it 3 X but it still was not coming up. That would be another reason to go to the ER for me.

God's best to you