Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Coma (HONK)

HONK can occur with very high blood glucose levels
HONK can occur with very high blood glucose levels

Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma is a dangerous condition brought on by very high blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes (above 33 mmol/L).

Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma is a short term complication requiring immediate treatment by a healthcare professional.

Symptoms of HONK

Before loss of consciousness and coma takes place, patients will display signs of very high blood sugar levels which may include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea

The condition of very high blood glucose without signs of ketosis may also be known as Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State (HHS).

Causes of HONK

Causes of hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma may include undiagnosed type 2 diabetes that has been developing over a number of years.

Alternatively, HONK could be brought on by diabetic medication not being taken or very high blood glucose resulting from a period of illness.

Treatment for HONK

Treatment for hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma will include fluids being given to the patient and insulin administered intravenously.

HONK and type 2 diabetes

Hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma is coma resulting from very high blood glucose levels in a patient with normal ketone levels.

If very high blood glucose levels are combined with high ketone levels, the state is likely to be ketoacidosis.

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