How Does Ketoacidosis Happen

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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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  1. Santosh Anand

    Insulin plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) enter your cells, thus providing them energy. When your cells don't get the glucose they need for energy, your body begins to burn fat for energy, which produces ketones. Ketones are acidic and so when they build up in the blood, they make the blood more acidic, leading to the condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
    Now, in type-1 diabetes, there is no insulin production whereas in type-2, there is impairment of insulin production. Thus why Type-2 diabetic people hardly get DKA.
    Note: Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition that might lead to diabetic coma or even death.

  2. Lucas Verhelst

    In order for the cells in your body to access the glucose in your bloodstream so they can use it as energy they need insulin. Insulin acts like a key, opennin the cell door to allow the entry of glucose. Type 1 diabetics produce no insulin and need to inject it, thus the amount of insulin they have is strictly limited. Once they run out of insulin the glucose remains in the blood stream. If this occurs over a long period of time their blood glucose levels will rise due to the release of glucose from the liver. High blood sugar levels causes ketoacidosis which leads to coma and death.

  3. Keith Phillips

    Although type 2 diabetics suffer from insulin resistance, the condition rarely has an absolute negative effect on the bodies ability to convert glucose to usable energy. Type 1 diabetics have little or no ability to produce insulin. With the exception of neural cells, the rest of the body which without insulin is experiencing starvation, will consume its own tissues. (this is how people have endured periods of famine). This process however produces by products that eventually overwhelm the body's ability to process toxins.

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