Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome, or HHNS, is a serious condition most frequently seen in older persons. HHNS can happen to people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes that is not being controlled properly, but it occurs more often in people with type 2. HHNS is usually brought on by something else, such as an illness or infection.
In HHNS, blood sugar levels rise, and your body tries to get rid of the excess sugar by passing it into your urine. You make lots of urine at first, and you have to go to the bathroom more often. Later you may not have to go to the bathroom as often, and your urine becomes very dark. Also, you may be very thirsty. Even if you are not thirsty, you need to drink liquids. If you don't drink enough liquids at this point, you can get dehydrated.
If HHNS continues, the severe dehydration will lead to seizures, coma and eventually death. HHNS may take days or even weeks to develop. Know the warning signs of HHNS.
What are the Warning Signs?
* Blood sugar level over 600 mg/dl
* Dry, parched mouth
* Extreme thirst (although this may gradually disappear)
* Warm, dry skin that does not sweat
* High fever (over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, for example)
* Sleepiness or confusion
* Loss of vision
* Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
* Weakness on one side of the body