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Diabetic Ketoacidosis Bicarbonate Levels

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Severe Ketoacidosis (ph ≤ 6.9) In Type 2 Diabetes: More Frequent And Less Ominous Than Previously Thought

BioMed Research International Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 134780, 5 pages 1Division of Endocrinology, Internal Medicine Department, University Hospital “Dr. José E. González”, Autonomous University of Nuevo León, 64460 Monterrey, NL, Mexico 2Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA 3Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital “Dr. José E. González”, Autonomous University of Nuevo León, 64460 Monterrey, NL, Mexico 4Latino Diabetes Initiative, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA Academic Editor: Gianluca Bardini Copyright © 2015 René Rodríguez-Gutiérrez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening acute metabolic complication of uncontrolled diabetes. Severe cases of DKA (pH ≤ 7.00, bicarbonate level ≤ 10.0, anion gap > 12, positive ketones, and altered mental status) are com Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Knicks

    In DKA, the patient is acidotic, right? So why would the body decrease bicarbonate (a base)? Wouldn't you want to keep the bicarbonate high so as to neutralize the acid?
    Too tired to think straight at the moment.

  2. generic

    The HCO3 derangement is not a compensation--it is the primary problem.
    DKA patients have a metabolic acidosis, I think it's mostly caused by the formation of tons and tons of ketone bodies (acidic). These are formed because despite high circulating levels of glucose, the cells can't use the glucose without insulin-->turn to ketone formation instead.
    The metabolic acidosis may cause respiratory compensation, which would give Kussmaul breathing, for example.

  3. treva

    Knicks said: ↑
    In DKA, the patient is acidotic, right? So why would the body decrease bicarbonate (a base)? Wouldn't you want to keep the bicarbonate high so as to neutralize the acid?
    Too tired to think straight at the moment. Remember the kidney takes days to compensate for acidodic state by producing more bicarb. Acutely, the bicarb is used to buffer the extra acid, so it drops.
    This also explains why DKA pts have increased RR:
    CO2 + H20 <--> H2CO3 <--> HCO3- + H+
    If you blow off extra CO2 (ie by upping RR) you shift the above equation to the left, and promote the formation of H2CO3 via CA, helping to mop up the H+.

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