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Can You Die From Ketoacidosis

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How Dka Happens And What To Do About It

Certified Diabetes Educator Gary Scheiner offers an overview of diabetic ketoacidosis. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition in which the blood becomes highly acidic as a result of dehydration and excessive ketone (acid) production. When bodily fluids become acidic, some of the body’s systems stop functioning properly. It is a serious condition that will make you violently ill and it can kill you. The primary cause of DKA is a lack of working insulin in the body. Most of the body’s cells burn primarily sugar (glucose) for energy. Many cells also burn fat, but in much smaller amounts. Glucose happens to be a very “clean” form of energy—there are virtually no waste products left over when you burn it up. Fat, on the other hand, is a “dirty” source of energy. When fat is burned, there are waste products produced. These waste products are called “ketones.” Ketones are acid molecules that can pollute the bloodstream and affect the body’s delicate pH balance if produced in large quantities. Luckily, we don’t tend to burn huge Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. ADJITATER

    DKA How long do I have

    What I want to know is if my pump runs out of insulin at 4 a.m. how long before DKA sets in. I will be getting more insulin in the morning. Will I survive.

  2. Stump86

    Even when a pump says empty it will usually still have a few units left (5-10U) so that may be enough to hold you over.
    DKA can occur in just a few hours of no insulin, but you will have IOB for at least 4 hours after your pump actually gets empty. If you are worried you should test for ketones every few hours to make sure they aren't building up. And be on the lookout for any symptoms.

  3. HarleyGuy

    I am on "earth" too, so maybe we are close. I have some to give you if we are close.

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