What are the symptoms of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome (HHS)?

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome (HHS) can have life-threatening symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms of the syndrome, seek emergency medical care immediately:
  • excessive thirst
  • dehydration
  • disorientation and confusion
  • sudden hypotension, or low blood pressure (as evidenced by faintness or dizziness when changing positions, especially lying or sitting to standing up)
  • visual problems
  • extreme, unexplained fatigue
  • fever
  • in advanced cases, coma, seizure, and/or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body)
Treatment for HHS involves administering intravenous fluids (i.e., saline and sometimes electrolyte solutions) to restore fluid balance. Insulin therapy may also be required.

If you experience any of the following signs of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome, you need to check your blood glucose level at once and call your health care provider. Be sure those around you know what to do, because you may not be able to react:

•  dry, parched mouth

•  extreme thirst, although this may gradually disappear

•  sleepiness or confusion

•  warm, dry skin with no sweating

•  high blood glucose. If it’s over 300 mg/dl on two readings, call your
   health care team; if it’s over 500 mg/dl, have someone take you to the
   hospital immediately

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.