Diabetes Mellitus Overview
Diabetes is a medical condition caused by the insulin resistance or lack of insulin in the body, which raises the level of blood sugar and causes many health issues for the patients. Diabetic symptoms include increased thirst and hunger and also frequent urination. Further advancement of the disease causes several complications, such as damage to the eyes, nerves and blood vessels in the human organism. Serious problems might be diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar state.
Patients suffering from diabetes should monitor their blood sugar regularly and use insulin or medications, prescribed by their doctors.
Sudden decrease of blood sugar is also known as diabetic shock and is characterized by series of symptoms. The brain is one organ most likely to be affected by the lack of sugar, since it uses glucose as the energy source. The function of the brain starts to decrease and the person might suffer from various conditions. He/she may become aggressive, extremely tired and their speech might be impaired. If you don’t know what’s happening, the person experiencing diabetic shock might look to you as drunk or drugged.
Diabetic shock should be prevented and all diabetics know that, but the fact is – the conditions may appear in just a couple of minutes up to one hour. Some of the patients might not even recognize the first signs of diabetic shock or disregard it as unimportant at the moment.
Driving with Diabetes
The problem of normal functioning with diabetes usually affects only the patients and the people around them, their spouses, kids and other family. However, when it comes to diabetic patients that drive, many people are worry about the safety.
Recent case of a diabetic man driving and being stopped by a police patrol in Oklahoma proved that it is not easy to differentiate the symptoms of alcohol intoxication and diabetic shock. What seems to be a drunk (or drugged) driver, was a man in need of an urgent medical help.
There is a public debate about the diabetic drivers in the US. Many diabetic patients are aware that their condition might affect the driving and the safety of all people in the traffic. Because of that, they take precautions, check their blood sugar before driving, take some glucose with them in the car at all times and have a snack before driving. However, some drivers do not take care of themselves, although they are diabetics, and these are the threat.
Some experts believe that diabetics must be restricted to drive unless their blood glucose is within the safe range. This blanket restriction is what already exists for alcohol consummation, and it has proven to be the good solution. They also refer to the EU (European Union) laws, which, for more than 10 years regulate the driving of diabetic patients.