Like high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels cause damage to the blood vessels of the heart, eyes, kidney, and brain and additionally, affect the nerves and blood vessels of the extremities especially the lower limbs. Amputation of a lower limb may be necessary if the extremity becomes badly damaged. A high blood glucose or a very low blood glucose level may cause unconsciousness/coma in the diabetic.
Diabetes by itself or in association with hypertension and/or high blood cholesterol is responsible for many of the heart attacks and ‘strokes’ which occur. Diabetes is part of what is referred to as ‘the Metabolic Syndrome’. The characteristics of patients with this syndrome are, diabetic or with impaired glucose tolerance, hypertensive, dyslipidemic (abnormal levels of blood fats) and obesity. The diagnosis is made if at least three of the characteristics are present. A person who is diabetic with no known cardiovascular disease is said to be at the same risk for stroke or heart attack as a person who has already had an attack.
The Diabetic Coma
The Mayo Clinic website describes a diabetic coma as “a life-threatening complication arising from diabetes that causes unconsciousness”
Dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in diabetics can lead to a diabetic coma. If you lapse into a diabetic coma, you’re alive — but you can’t awaken or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal.