How Does Ketoacidosis Cause Death

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) happens when your blood sugar is high and your insulin level is low. This imbalance in the body causes a build-up of ketones. Ketones are toxic. If DKA isn’t treated, it can lead to diabetic coma and even death. DKA mainly affects people who have type 1 diabetes. But it can also happen with other types of diabetes, including type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (during pregnancy). DKA is a very serious condition. If you have diabetes and think you may have DKA, contact your doctor or get to a hospital right away. The first symptoms to appear are usually: frequent urination. The next stage of DKA symptoms include: vomiting (usually more than once) confusion or trouble concentrating a fruity odor on the breath. The main cause of DKA is not enough insulin. A lack of insulin means sugar can’t get into your cells. Your cells need sugar for energy. This causes your body’s glucose levels to rise. To get energy, the body starts to burn fat. This process causes ketones to build up. Ketones can poison the body. High blood glucose levels can also cause you to urinate often. This leads to a lack of fluids in the body (dehydration). DKA can be caused by mis Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Alexey Danilov

    Overdosing of antidepressants usually has nothing to do with the death per se. As pointed in previous answers it is very difficult to cause fatal overdose using antidepressants alone. One has to have pre-existing heart condition or to combine the antidepressants with other drugs. I hope you don't wait for an exact combination from me to show up here.
    Usually it's not overdosing of antidepressants that kills people. It's the absence of proper monitoring by experienced physician and incorrect dosage and administration.
    One of the most debilitating components of depression is the lack, or even total absence of willpower combined with dysphoria, absence of appetite, insomnia. And suicidal thoughts are on top of this as a cherry on a milkshake.
    Antidepressants, when administered without proper evaluation of the patient and without proper counselling or psychotherapy, can cause someone to overcome the lack of willpower WITHOUT doing anything with suicidal thoughts. And that's a very dangerous mix. Imagine someone who is tired of many years of insomnia, takes food like medication without any desire, and his/hers self-esteem is down the drain. This poor person would already kill himself if he/she had enough willpower to do it. Luckily when in depression, the act of getting up from bed is considered as act of courage already. Antidepressants can tip the scales and give this poor guy just enough will to jump out from that hypothetical window.

  2. Mark Dunn

    The same way normal dosing on antidepressants can cause death, meaning at least a few dozen different potential conditions. You are asking about toxic and dysfunction-inducing psychotropic drugs.
    However, some side effects are much more likely to be the cause of death during an overdose, statistically speaking, just like some side effects are much more likely to be the cause of death during normal dosing.
    These groups of most likely candidates may share some conditions in common, but are not the same. It can be difficult to tell both because accurate statistics are not generally maintained and non-suicidal deaths on antidepressants are even less likely to be properly investigated—-whether or not the drugs had a role, and what the role was if they contributed, may never be uncovered or documented.
    You can review some of my Quora answers that cover the components of your question individually:
    Mark Dunn's answer to How does one die from depressants?
    Mark Dunn's answer to What can happen if someone overdoses on Prozac?

    Mark Dunn's answer to If SSRI antidepressants are supposed to make you less depressed, why would they carry an increased suicide risk?
    As other Quorans have noted, the specific drugs (and class of drugs) being considered, and the individual reactions that are unique to each patient can alter which side effects or overdose effects may be the most dangerous for particular patients.

    And, as also noted by other posters, antidepressants are not usually a reliable agent of suicide (especially because the possibility of death death is not dose-dependent, and they are not very effective methods of dispatch unto themselves).

  3. John K Hsiao

    It depends on the antidepressant. The SSRIs, by in large, are quite safe even in an overdose. It is possible, by combining an SSRI w/ another drug that increases serotonin (an MAO inhibitor, Tramadol, other serotonergic drugs) to develop serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal. However, that's a fairly idiosyncratic response. An SSRI + MAOI could also produce a hypertensive crisis & cause a hemorrhagic stroke. The older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were quite dangerous in overdose (one of the reasons they're so rarely used nowadays). It wasn't because of how they affected the brain, however, but because of their ability to alter cardiac conduction & cause arrhythmia. The TCAs & bupropion also lower the seizure threshold & in overdose can lead to seizures & potentially status epilepticus.
    Taking an overdose of most commonly used psychotropics is actually not a reliable way of killing oneself. The therapeutic index (difference between therapeutic & toxic doses) are generally pretty high. There are exceptions, but maybe I shouldn't mention those.

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