Figure 3. Timeline in DKA management. GCS:Glascow Coma Scale, CBC:Complete Blood Counting, ECG:Electrocardiogram, HR:Heart Rate, BP:Blood Pressure, BUN:Blood Urea Nitrogen, Cr: Creatinine, WBC:White Blood Cell, CRP:C-reactive protein, CE:Cerebral edema (adapted from reference 165) Figure 4. A 15 years old male patient firstly diagnosed T1DM with DKA infected by rhino-orbita-cerebral mucormycozis (Picture from the reference ) 1. Introduction A chronic autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells results in decreasing endogenous insulin secretion and the clinical manifestation of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). The clinical onset of the disease is often acute in children and adolescents and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is present in 20-74% of the patients [1-7]. DKA is a serious condition that requiring immediate intervention. Even with appropriate intervention, DKA is associated with significant morbidity and possible mortality in diabetic patients in the pediatric age group . Young age and female sex have been associated with an increased frequency of DKA [3,9]. The triad of uncontrolled hyperglycemia, metabolic acidosis and increased total body ketone concentration characterizes DKA . In addition to possible acute complications, it may also influence the later outcome of diabetes . 2. Epidemiology Worldwide, an estimated 65 000 children under 15 years old develop T1DM each year, and the global incidence in children continues to increase at a rate of 3% a year [12,13]. The current incidence in the UK is around 26/100 000 per year . Patterson et al. were aimed to establish 15-year incidence trends for childhood T1DM in European centres with EURODIAB study. 29 311 new cases of T1DM were diagnosed in children before their 15th birthday during a 1 Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)
Short-term high blood sugars are rarely lethal. However, for people with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2 who are not producing enough insulin, periods of high blood sugars can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. The absence of insulin allows your blood to slowly become acidic. The body’s cells cannot survive under acidic conditions so the liver will try to help the cells that are starved for glucose and secrete glucose. When combined with dehydration, this process accelerates into a poisonous cocktail that undermines the heart, impairs the brain, and can lead to death in days. Prolonged high blood sugars can be caused by missing insulin doses, problems with an insulin pump, being sick with the flu or other illness, or eating more carbohydrates than your body has insulin to process. Who Can Develop Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)? People with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can develop DKA. Most at risk however, are people with type 1 diabetes because they don’t make any insulin of their own and most people with type 2 diabetes do usually make some of their own insulin. Oftentimes DKA develops in people who have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes. Once diagnosed, people with diabetes can avoid DKA if they learn to recognize the beginning symptoms. How Do I Know If I Have Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)? DKA can develop slowly or quickly. At first, it mimics the symptoms of high blood sugar: thirstiness dry mouth frequent urination You will likely have high blood sugars and ketones in your urine (more on this below). If your body still doesn’t get the insulin it needs, your blood becomes more acidic. you will likely feel tired your body might start to feel very achy like when you have a high fever. When any of the following symptoms occur, your condition has likely pr Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Having diabetes means that there is too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. When you eat food, your body breaks down much of the food into glucose. Your blood carries the glucose to the cells of your body. An organ in your upper belly, called the pancreas, makes and releases a hormone called insulin when it detects glucose. Your body uses insulin to help move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. When your body does not make insulin (type 1 diabetes), or has trouble using insulin (type 2 diabetes), glucose cannot get into your cells. The glucose level in your blood goes up. Too much glucose in your blood (also called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar) can cause many problems. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for a problem called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It is very rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA happens when your body does not have enough insulin to move glucose into your cells, and your body begins to burn fat for energy. The burning of fats causes a build-up of dangerous levels of ketones in the blood. At the same time, sugar also builds up in the blood. DKA is an emergency that must be treated right away. If it is not treated right away, it can cause coma or death. What can I expect in the hospital? You will need to stay in the hospital in order to bring your blood sugar level under control and treat the cause of the DKA. Several things may be done while you are in the hospital to monitor, test, and treat your condition. They include: Monitoring You will be checked often by the hospital staff. You may have fingersticks to check your blood sugar regularly. This may be done as often as every hour. You will learn how to check your blood sugar level in order to manage your diabetes when you go home. A heart (cardiac) monitor may Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, is a serious health problem that can happen to a person with diabetes. It happens when chemicals called ketones build up in the blood. Normally, the cells of your body take in and use glucose as a source of energy. Glucose moves through the body in the bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells take in the glucose from the blood. If you have diabetes, your cells can’t take in and use this glucose in a normal way. This may be because your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Or it may be because your cells don’t respond to it normally. As a result, glucose builds up in your bloodstream and doesn’t reach your cells. Without glucose to use, the cells in your body burn fat instead of glucose for energy. When cells burn fat, they make ketones. High levels of ketones can poison the body. High levels of glucose can also build up in your blood and cause other symptoms. Ketoacidosis also changes the amount of other substances in your blood. These include electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate. This can lead to other problems. Ketoacidosis happens most often in a person with type 1 diabetes. This is a condition where the body does not make enough insulin. In rare cases, ketoacidosis can happen in a person with type 2 diabetes. It can happen when they are under stress, like when they are sick, or when they have taken certain medicines that change how their bodies handle glucose. Diabetic ketoacidosis is pretty common. It is more common in younger people. Women have it more often than men do. What causes diabetic ketoacidosis? High levels of ketones and glucose in your blood can cause ketoacidosis. This might happen if you: Don’t know you have diabetes, and your body is breaking down too much fat Know you have dia Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Complications
Diabetic ketoacidosis definition and facts Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes (though rare, it can occur in people with type 2 diabetes) that occurs when the body produces high levels of ketones due to lack of insulin. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin. The signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include Risk factors for diabetic ketoacidosis are type 1 diabetes, and missing insulin doses frequently, or being exposed to a stressor requiring higher insulin doses (infection, etc). Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed by an elevated blood sugar (glucose) level, elevated blood ketones and acidity of the blood (acidosis). The treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis is insulin, fluids and electrolyte therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be prevented by taking insulin as prescribed and monitoring glucose and ketone levels. The prognosis for a person with diabetic ketoacidosis depends on the severity of the disease and the other underlying medical conditions. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a severe and life-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the cells in our body do not receive the sugar (glucose) they need for energy. This happens while there is plenty of glucose in the bloodstream, but not enough insulin to help convert glucose for use in the cells. The body recognizes this and starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy. This breakdown produces ketones (also called fatty acids), which cause an imbalance in our electrolyte system leading to the ketoacidosis (a metabolic acidosis). The sugar that cannot be used because of the lack of insulin stays in the bloodstream (rather than going into the cell and provide energy). The kidneys f Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition characterized by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), low insulin, and the presence of moderate to large amounts of ketones in the blood. It's a medical emergency that requires treatment in a hospital. If not treated in a timely fashion, ketoacidosis can lead to coma and death. While diabetic ketoacidosis (or DKA) is much more common among people with type 1 diabetes, it can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, so ketone monitoring is something everyone with diabetes should understand. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms Signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis include: Thirst or a very dry mouth Frequent urination Fatigue and weakness Nausea Vomiting Dry or flushed skin Abdominal pain Deep breathing A fruity breath odor What Are Ketones? Ketones, or ketone bodies, are acidic byproducts of fat metabolism. It's normal for everyone to have a small amount of ketones in the bloodstream, and after a fast of 12 to16 hours, there may be detectable amounts in the urine. As is the case with glucose, if blood levels of ketones get too high, they spill over into the urine. An elevated level of ketones in the blood is known as ketosis. People who follow low-carbohydrate diets often speak of ketosis as a desirable state — it's evidence that their bodies are burning fat, not carbohydrate. But the level of ketosis that results from low carbohydrate consumption isn't harmful and is much lower than the level seen in diabetic ketoacidosis. When Should Ketones Be Monitored? Ketone monitoring is less of a concern for people with type 2 diabetes than for those with type 1 diabetes. This is because most people with type 2 diabetes still make some of their own insulin, making diabetic ketoacidosis less likely to develop. Nonetheless, people with type 2 d Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms
A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from dehydration during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar level and organic acids called ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body's chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in any person with diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before age 25 years, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in this age group, but it may occur at any age. Males and females are equally affected. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. As the body produces a stress response, hormones (unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency) begin to break down muscle, fat, and liver cells into glucose (sugar) and fatty acids for use as fuel. These hormones include glucagon, growth hormone, and adrenaline. These fatty acids are converted to ketones by a process called oxidation. The body consumes its own muscle, fat, and liver cells for fuel. In diabetic ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). The resulting increase in blood sugar occurs, because insulin is unavailable to transport sugar into cells for future use. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. Commonly, about 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. Significant loss of potassium and other salts in the excessive urination is also common. The most common Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)
Diabetes is a long-term condition that can have a major impact on the life of a child or young person, as well as their family or carers. In addition to insulin therapy, diabetes management should include education, support and access to psychological services, as detailed here and in this guideline. Preparations should also be made for the transition from paediatric to adult services, which have a somewhat different model of care and evidence base. Rapid‐acting insulin analogues (artificial insulin such as insulin lispro, insulin aspart, or insulin glulisine) act more quickly than regular human insulin. In people with a specific type of life‐threatening diabetic coma due to uncontrolled diabetes, called diabetic ketoacidosis, prompt administration of intravenous regular insulin is standard therapy. The rapid‐acting insulin analogues, if injected subcutaneously, act faster than subcutaneously administered regular insulin. The need for a continuous intravenous infusion, an intervention that usually requires admission to an intensive care unit, can thereby be avoided. This means that subcutaneously given insulin analogues for diabetic ketoacidosis might be applied in the emergency department and a general medicine ward. Type 1 diabetes affects over 370,000 adults in the UK, representing approximately 10% of adults diagnosed with diabetes. Given the complexity of its treatment regimens, successful outcomes depend, perhaps more than with any other long-term condition, on full engagement of the adult with type 1 diabetes in life-long day-by-day self-management. In order to support this, the health service needs to provide informed, expert support, education and training as well as a range of other more conventional biomedical services and interventionsfor the preventio Continue reading >>
What Is The Origin/mechanism Of Abdominal Pain In Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Other than all papers I could find citing the depth of the keto-acidosis (and not the height of the blood glucose levels) correlating with abdominal pain, nothing else to explain how these two are linked. Decades ago, I was taught that because of the keto-acidosis causing a shift of intracellular potassium (having been exchanged for H+ protons of which in keto-acidosis there were too many of in the extracellular fluid) to the extracellular, so also the blood compartment, resulting in hyperkalemia, paralyzing the stomach, which could become grossly dilated - that’s why we often put in a nasogastric drainage tube to prevent vomiting and aspiration - and thus cause “stomach pain”. This stomach pain in the majority of cases indeed went away after the keto-acidosis was treated and serum electrolyte levels normalized. In one patient it didn’t, she remained very, very metabolically acidotic, while blood glucose levels normalized, later we found her to have a massive and fatal intestinal infarction as the underlying reason for her keto-acidosis….. Continue reading >>
Patient professional reference Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Pre-diabetes (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) article more useful, or one of our other health articles. See also the separate Childhood Ketoacidosis article. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a medical emergency with a significant morbidity and mortality. It should be diagnosed promptly and managed intensively. DKA is characterised by hyperglycaemia, acidosis and ketonaemia: Ketonaemia (3 mmol/L and over), or significant ketonuria (more than 2+ on standard urine sticks). Blood glucose over 11 mmol/L or known diabetes mellitus (the degree of hyperglycaemia is not a reliable indicator of DKA and the blood glucose may rarely be normal or only slightly elevated in DKA). Bicarbonate below 15 mmol/L and/or venous pH less than 7.3. However, hyperglycaemia may not always be present and low blood ketone levels (<3 mmol/L) do not always exclude DKA. Epidemiology DKA is normally seen in people with type 1 diabetes. Data from the UK National Diabetes Audit show a crude one-year incidence of 3.6% among people with type 1 diabetes. In the UK nearly 4% of people with type 1 diabetes experience DKA each year. About 6% of cases of DKA occur in adults newly presenting with type 1 diabetes. About 8% of episodes occur in hospital patients who did not primarily present with DKA. However, DKA may also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although people with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to have a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state. Ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes tends to be more common in older, overweight, non-white people with type 2 diabetes, and DKA may be their Continue reading >>
The Emedicinehealth Doctors Ask About Diabetic Ketoacidosis:
A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cont.) A person developing diabetic ketoacidosis may have one or more of these symptoms: excessive thirst or drinking lots of fluid, frequent urination, general weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, confusion, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, a generally ill appearance, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, and a distinctive fruity odor on the breath. If you have any form of diabetes, contact your doctor when you have very high blood sugars (generally more than 350 mg) or moderate elevations that do not respond to home treatment. At initial diagnosis your doctor should have provided you with specific rules for dosing your medication(s) and for checking your urinary ketone level whenever you become ill. If not, ask your health care practitioner to provide such "sick day rules." If you have diabetes and start vomiting, seek immediate medical attention. If you have diabetes and develop a fever, contact your health care practitioner. If you feel sick, check your urinary ketone levels with home test strips. If your urinary ketones are moderate or higher, contact your health care practitioner. People with diabetes should be taken to a hospital's emergency department if they appear significantly ill, dehydrated, confused, or very weak. Other reasons to seek immediate medical treatment include shortness of breath, chest pain, severe abdominal pain with vomiting, or high fever (above 101 F or 38.3 C). Continue Reading A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cont.) The diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis is typically made after the health care practitioner obtains a history, performs a physical examination, and reviews the laboratory tests. Blood tests will be ordered to document the levels of sugar, potassium, sodium, and oth Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Causes
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous complication of diabetes mellitus brought about by a lack of insulin in the body causing an inadequate uptake of glucose from the blood. It is characterized by a severe rise in blood sugar or hyperglycemia along with dehydration that may lead to shock and even loss of consciousness. Insulin is an important hormone that helps the body uptake and utilize glucose present in blood, therefore reducing the blood sugar level. If there is a lack of insulin, the blood sugar is not used and instead body fats are broken down to provide an alternative energy source. This breakdown of fat however, causes the release of acidic by-products called ketones that build up in the blood and urine. High glucose levels cause increased amounts of glucose to move into the urine, a process termed osmotic diuresis. During osmotic diuresis, water and solutes such as potassium and sodium also move into the urine. This leads to frequent excretion of large volumes of urine or polyuria, dehydration and compensatory thirst or polydypsia. Who is affected? DKA is more common among people with type 1 diabetes or those with type 2 diabetes who take insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. Nearly a quarter of all type 1 diabetics are admitted to hospital with DKA at some point in their lives. Young children with type 1 diabetes are at particular risk of developing the condition. Causes Common causes or triggers of DKA typically include situations that raise the body's requirement for insulin. Examples include: Acute infection During infection, the body has an increased need for glucose that may not be met by an adequate amount of insulin for stimulating the uptake of glucose from the blood. Examples of infections that can cause this problem include the flu, ur Continue reading >>
A Preventable Crisis People who have had diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, will tell you it’s worse than any flu they’ve ever had, describing an overwhelming feeling of lethargy, unquenchable thirst, and unrelenting vomiting. “It’s sort of like having molasses for blood,” says George. “Everything moves so slow, the mouth can feel so dry, and there is a cloud over your head. Just before diagnosis, when I was in high school, I would get out of a class and go to the bathroom to pee for about 10–12 minutes. Then I would head to the water fountain and begin drinking water for minutes at a time, usually until well after the next class had begun.” George, generally an upbeat person, said that while he has experienced varying degrees of DKA in his 40 years or so of having diabetes, “…at its worst, there is one reprieve from its ill feeling: Unfortunately, that is a coma.” But DKA can be more than a feeling of extreme discomfort, and it can result in more than a coma. “It has the potential to kill,” says Richard Hellman, MD, past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “DKA is a medical emergency. It’s the biggest medical emergency related to diabetes. It’s also the most likely time for a child with diabetes to die.” DKA occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body, resulting in high blood glucose; the person is dehydrated; and too many ketones are present in the bloodstream, making it acidic. The initial insulin deficit is most often caused by the onset of diabetes, by an illness or infection, or by not taking insulin when it is needed. Ketones are your brain’s “second-best fuel,” Hellman says, with glucose being number one. If you don’t have enough glucose in your cells to supply energy to your brain, yo Continue reading >>
What Are Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication typically faced by people with type-1 diabetes, which occurs when body starts running out of insulin. This condition can leave the patient in coma or even death if not treated immediately. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when body is lacking lacking insulin to allow sufficient glucose to enter cells. Therefore the body absorbs energy by burning fatty acids and in turn produce acidic ketone bodies. Blood containing high levels of ketone bodies can cause serious illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis is itself a symptom of undiagnosed type-1 diabetes. Other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: 1. Dehydration 2. Vomiting 3. Nausea 4. Blurred vision 5. Fatigue & sleepiness 6. Frequent urination 7. Rapid heartbeat 8. Unusual smell on the breath (similar to that of pear drops) 9. Confusion and disorientation 10. Hyperventilation or deep laboured breathing 11. Coma The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually develop over a 24-hour period if blood glucose levels are and remain very high (hyperglycemia). Continue reading >>
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 missing an insulin dose, eating poorly, or feeling stressed. An infection or other illness (such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection) can also lead to DKA. If you have signs of infection (fever, cough, or sore throat), contact your doctor. You will want to make sure you are getting the right treatment. For some people, DKA may be the first sign that they have diabetes. When you are sick, you need to watch your blood sugar level very closely so that it doesn’t get too high or too low. Ask your doctor what your critical blood sugar level is. Most patients should watch their glucose levels c Continue reading >>