Hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS)
Very high blood sugar (glucose) levels over around 40mmol/l across a period of some weeks can cause a condition in type 2 diabetes called hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS).
This condition used to be called HONK: hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma.
HHS causes dehydration and is a medical emergency needing hospital treatment. Fluids may be given through an IV drip as blood sugar levels are returned to normal.
Symptoms of HHS
HHS symptoms may include:
Causes of HHS include less well controlled blood sugar because of illness or infection. Swallowing problems can affect what a person eats and drinks as well as preventing them from taking tablets.
Take these steps to help protect yourself from HHS:
- Check your blood sugar regularly, as often as your diabetes care team recommends
- Know your target blood sugar ranges and what to do if the readings are too high
- Plan how often to check your blood sugar when you’re unwell
- Take extra care of yourself if you’re ill