What Organs Are Affected By Ketoacidosis?

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body's cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. kel4han

    I still dont see why ketones (small-moderate) are dangerous if your BS is in range and you are ill. It has been explained many of times. Dont you have ketones becuase you are ill, the stress on the body,not becuase you are at risk of DKA? Can someone explain it in lame man terms?

  2. lilituc

    Here is the argument as I've heard it: Ketones are a result of not enough insulin. Often high bg is present as well, as another result of not enough insulin. Type 1 diabetics aren't able to clear ketones like other people would, so if they build up, you can end up with DKA. I've heard several instances where someone started going into DKA with "normal" blood sugar and ended up with one IV in each arm - one dextrose and one insulin.
    Anecdotally, it seems to me that this is more of a risk with children and not adults. Still, I wouldn't take chances with it. If I had moderate or high ketones, I would try to clear them out (by carb and insulin intake).

  3. BlueSky

    lilituc said:

    .... Ketones are a result of not enough insulin. ....
    Not quite. Ketones in the urine are the result of burning fat. This can happen with adequate insulin and normal blood glucose, in which case it is not dangerous.

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