Slideshows Images Quizzes
font size

Medical Definition of Diabetic coma

Diabetic coma: Deep unconsciousness that results from uncontrolled diabetes associated with ketones in the bloodstream. The best treatment is prevention. Careful diet, medication, and insulin dosing, as needed, should prevent ketone buildup. Patients with diabetes and their family members should be aware of the early signs of ketone buildup, including weight loss, nausea, confusion, gasping for breath, a characteristically sweet, chemical odor, similar to that of acetone or alcohol (acetone breath), to the patient's breath, and sometimes sweat. Lethargy, confusion, and convulsions may precede diabetic coma. To prevent death, immediate emergency medical treatment is needed in a hospital setting for patients who show the early signs of diabetic coma.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News


Find tips and advances in treatment.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors