Why Ketoacidosis Cause Coma

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How To Help Someone In A Coma

Author's Sidebar: Every once in a while, I'll get a phone call or an email message from a person, who has a relative in the hospital in a diabetic coma. I can usually tell by the tone in their voice that they are desperate, afraid and uncertain what to do. These types of phone calls are difficult, because there's nothing that I can do to help them. Usually, I suggest that the person make sure that they share as much information that they can about the person's health with the doctors and nurses. The more that you know about the person's health, the better it can help the doctors understand what is happening. Another thing that I usually suggest is to keep a notebook or journal of what's going on and ask questions, but be respectful to the medical staff. Use the notebook for taking notes when the doctors tell you things about the patient's condition, etc. Otherwise, you will never remember what was said to relay to other family members. When a large family is involved it gets tiring to keep repeating the same information -- so they can read your notebook. Also, write down all the pertinent phone numbers and emails of people who would need to be contacted when changes in condition oc Continue reading >>

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  1. Michael Simpson

    Diabetic ketoacidosis (the formal name, and the one most diabetics use, abbreviating it as DKA) can happen in Type 2 diabetics, but as you implied it is rare.
    Type 1 diabetics totally lack or have insufficient amounts of insulin. So the body produces the antagonistic hormone, glucagon, because there's no insulin, which to the body means there's low glucose. Glucagon then induces the liver to use fat as energy, producing ketone bodies while also forcing the liver to convert glycogen to glucose. Unfortunately, the blood glucose levels are high because the Type 1 Diabetic has no insulin. This causes the blood osmolarity to skyrocket, and the kidneys try to compensate by removing ketones and glucose from the blood.
    Since the kidneys have a maximum capacity to clear excess glucose from the blood, the blood becomes more acidotic and ketone bodies rise at the same time. And that leads to more serious issues like coma and death.
    The feedback systems are all broken, so the body spins out of control. It is often the first sign of Type 1 diabetes.
    So the one difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics is that Type 1 has no insulin, but Type 2 generally has insulin in the blood to suppress the release of glucagon. And this is why it's rare in Type 2 diabetics.

  2. Liang-Hai Sie

    We need insulin to be able to utilize glucose, type 2 has some insulin, not enough because of the insulin resistance, type 1 don't, so in type one ketosis can develop because the lack of insulin causes the body to burn fat that forms ketones if no inslin is administered. I knew a man who every time he was arrested by intent "forgot" to inject his insulin so ended in hospital with a keto-aciditic diabetic coma, out of jail.

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