What Do Ketoacidosis Mean

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus.[1] Signs and symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, weakness, confusion, and occasionally loss of consciousness.[1] A person's breath may develop a specific smell.[1] Onset of symptoms is usually rapid.[1] In some cases people may not realize they previously had diabetes.[1] DKA happens most often in those with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in those with other types of diabetes under certain circumstances.[1] Triggers may include infection, not taking insulin correctly, stroke, and certain medications such as steroids.[1] DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids which produces acidic ketone bodies.[3] DKA is typically diagnosed when testing finds high blood sugar, low blood pH, and ketoacids in either the blood or urine.[1] The primary treatment of DKA is with intravenous fluids and insulin.[1] Depending on the severity, insulin may be given intravenously or by injection under the skin.[3] Usually potassium is also needed to prevent the development of low blood potassium.[1] Th Continue reading >>

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  1. Liang-Hai Sie

    Nothing to do with his diabetes, more with his molar problem?
    He might have contracted a foodborne infection, often seen when living under less than optimal hygienic circumstances... That can also be a viral infection e.g. acute viral gastro-enteritis, viral hepatitis (there are so many, A and e aren't transfered by blood contact) etc. etc.
    For his health, he better take good care of his diabetes, if not can get blind, have a heart attack, a stroke, or terminal end stage kidney disease (in the US 1 out of 3 is due to diabetes!). Many not well educated diabetics aren't motivated to do anything about controling their diabetes since it doesn't cause any symptom, and wait until catastrophe strikes, by then having been so much damaged that all we docs can do is minimal damage control, too late: Complications of diabetes

  2. Michael Soso

    If he has a history of nauseating headache, the headaches could simply be migraine attacks, unrelated to his diabetes and tooth problem. This is the least alarming interpretation of the facts provided.
    Unfortunately, other possibilities are much more concerning. If he has a dental abscess, the possible complications in the presence of poorly controlled diabetes are numerous, as other posters have indicated. Visits to a dentist and a doctor would appear warranted.
    I hope it all proves to be minor and resolves without much trouble. The comments provided by healthcare providers describe some of the more serious problems that might develop. The Original Poster needs to read these judiciously.
    I suspect some physicians reading your question would immediately want to send a MedEvac helicopter to airlift your father to a major urban hospital. To grossly understate the situation, physicians are worrywarts. If you show us a hangnail, we're already worrying about your imminent need for amputation before you die from gangrene and sepsis because, believe me, we've seen it. No symptom, no matter how seemingly innocuous to a patient, is casually dismissed by a thoughtful doctor. To the contrary, we can't suppress the reflexive review of all the horrors we might be overlooking.
    Consequently, I hope the comments your question elicits are helpful rather than simply terrifying. Best wishes to you and your father.

  3. Steve Rapaport

    Could mean several things, but one of them is deadly dangerous, diabetes related, and easily preventable, so I'd suggest preventing that one right away.
    Tell your dad to drink lots of water, and take a bit of insulin if he has some.
    That way if he's working his way up to a Diabetic Ketoacidosis or an HHS attack, you can head it off right away. They both result from inadequate insulin levels and inadequate water levels, and can be triggered by an inflammation or infection (such as a tooth problem).
    More on both here: Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

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