I know what you’re thinking. You’re sitting there wondering: How can I tell if my diabetic [friend/coworker/dad/cat/cousin’s girlfriend] is in trouble; you know, sugar trouble?
By asking that question and possessing even the slightest urge to understand the answer, you’re already a good [friend/coworker/daughter/pet owner/boyfriend’s cousin].
Here, I’ve compiled a basic list of warning signs* for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, or “betes rage,” as it’s known in my circle of friends) and hyperglycemia (aka high blood sugar, aka narcolepsy).
When experiencing hypoglycemia, subjects may feel:
- super giggly
- livid at you/the world for no logical reason (hence, betes rage)
- like they’ve been huffing paint or glue
- super shaky
- the urge to devour every bit of sweet food within reach
- insatiable hunger
- like the heat’s been turned up—way up
- that their muscles are made of Jell-o
Now what? Feed.them.sugar. Something with at least 15 grams of carbohydrates and protein is good for them; whatever they’re craving is good for you. (Remember, volatile situation here. Subject probably does not mean what she is saying…or how she is glaring at you.) Then wait. It takes a while, and there’s no better way to cause a full blown betes freakout than asking, “feel better yet?” every three seconds. Eventually, make sure the subject checks her sugar with a glucometer (nerd alert!!), just to be sure.
When experiencing hyperglycemia, subjects may feel:
- insatiable thirst
- tired to the point of legit narcolepsy
- like their limbs are weighted down
- the need to urinate every.ten.minutes.
- annoyed (at everyone and everything) that they can’t just go to sleep, like, right now
Now what? Ask subject if she has checked her blood sugar, as it is possible she’s just tired, thirsty, and in a shit mood. (While this may actually worsen said mood, it is indeed necessary. Be strong.) If sugar is somewhere over 200 (note: varies depending on subject), a proper dose of insulin should be administered. Other ways to decrease blood sugar: vigorous exercise, vigorous water chugging, though the latter is not recommended.
If hyperglycemia isn’t treated, the body may start burning fat to gain energy, since, without enough of our pal insulin, glucose (street name: sugar) can’t be the muscles’ source of energy. While this is a surefire way for a diabetic to eat and drink all she wants and still shed quite a few pounds, there’s also that tricky little side effect called ketoacidosis, which has its own side effect: diabetic coma (street name: near-death).
*Serious (no, really, not a joke) disclaimer: List of symptoms comes from my own betes-sperience and is by no means complete[ly factual]. As I’m not a cat, I can’t speak for the feline diabetic population.
This message brought to you by the National Council of People Who’d Rather Not See Their Friends In Diabetic Comas.