What Is It? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially fatal complication of diabetes that occurs when you have much less insulin than your body needs. This problem causes the blood to become acidic and the body to become dangerously dehydrated. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when diabetes is not treated adequately, or it can occur during times of serious sickness. To understand this illness, you need to understand the way your body powers itself with sugar and other fuels. Foods we eat are broken down by the body, and much of what we eat becomes glucose (a type of sugar), which enters the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose to pass from the bloodstream into body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin normally is made by the pancreas, but people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) don't produce enough insulin and must inject it daily. Your body needs a constant source of energy. When you have plenty of insulin, your body cells can get all the energy they need from glucose. If you don't have enough insulin in your blood, your liver is programmed to manufacture emergency fuels. These fuels, made from fat, are called ketones (or keto acids). In a pinch, ketones can give you energy. However, if your body stays dependent on ketones for energy for too long, you soon will become ill. Ketones are acidic chemicals that are toxic at high concentrations. In diabetic ketoacidosis, ketones build up in the blood, seriously altering the normal chemistry of the blood and interfering with the function of multiple organs. They make the blood acidic, which causes vomiting and abdominal pain. If the acid level of the blood becomes extreme, ketoacidosis can cause falling blood pressure, coma and death. Ketoacidosis is always accompanied by dehydration, which is caused by high Continue reading >>
Cardiovascular Complications Of Ketoacidosis
US Pharm. 2016;41(2):39-42. ABSTRACT: Ketoacidosis is a serious medical emergency requiring hospitalization. It is most commonly associated with diabetes and alcoholism, but each type is treated differently. Some treatments for ketoacidosis, such as insulin and potassium, are considered high-alert medications, and others could result in electrolyte imbalances. Several cardiovascular complications are associated with ketoacidosis as a result of electrolyte imbalances, including arrhythmias, ECG changes, ventricular tachycardia, and cardiac arrest, which can be prevented with appropriate initial treatment. Acute myocardial infarction can predispose patients with diabetes to ketoacidosis and worsen their cardiovascular outcomes. Cardiopulmonary complications such as pulmonary edema and respiratory failure have also been seen with ketoacidosis. Overall, the mortality rate of ketoacidosis is low with proper and urgent medical treatment. Hospital pharmacists can help ensure standardization and improve the safety of pharmacotherapy for ketoacidosis. In the outpatient setting, pharmacists can educate patients on prevention of ketoacidosis and when to seek medical attention. Metabolic acidosis occurs as a result of increased endogenous acid production, a decrease in bicarbonate, or a buildup of endogenous acids.1 Ketoacidosis is a metabolic disorder in which regulation of ketones is disrupted, leading to excess secretion, accumulation, and ultimately a decrease in the blood pH.2 Acidosis is defined by a serum pH <7.35, while a pH <6.8 is considered incompatible with life.1,3 Ketone formation occurs by breakdown of fatty acids. Insulin inhibits beta-oxidation of fatty acids; thus, low levels of insulin accelerate ketone formation, which can be seen in patients with diabetes. Extr Continue reading >>
Diabetic Coma: Causes, What Happens When You Go Into A Diabetic Coma?
What is Diabetic Coma and What Happens When You go Into a Diabetic Coma? Diabetic coma is a fatal complication that leads to unconsciousness. Any diabetic person with extremely high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) level of blood sugar can be affected by diabetic coma. A person who has slipped into diabetic coma will not be able to respond to any physical stimulation except for being alive. Diabetic coma can cause death when left untreated or not properly treated on time. There are very less chances of hopes in case of diabetic coma. However one can control his or her health conditions to avoid occurrence of diabetic coma. One should follow their diabetes management plan strictly to avoid a turn towards diabetic coma. Diabetic coma is of three types, ketoacidosis coma, hyperosmolar coma and hypoglycemic coma. Emergency medical facility is required in case of a diabetic coma Hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia is caused by huge rate of fluctuation in the blood sugar level leading to diabetic coma. Whenever there is any extreme fluctuation in the glucose level of the blood, the same has to be reported to the doctor immediately. Never forget that "prevention is better than cure". Make yourself more aware on diabetes and learn the likely consequences of the disease to keep yourself alert. Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q's) on Diabetic Coma A person can fall in to diabetic coma while suffering from Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The person will not remain conscious in this sleep-like state. This state which can be caused by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) or hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), can remain for long time or sometimes lead to death. "Ketones" are generated in the human body when it uses body fat for energy. Ketones are also generated when there is minimum insu Continue reading >>
Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially fatal metabolic disorder presenting most weeks in most accident and emergency (A&E) departments.1 The disorder can have significant mortality if misdiagnosed or mistreated. Numerous management strategies have been described. Our aim is to describe a regimen that is based, as far as possible, on available evidence but also on our experience in managing patients with DKA in the A&E department and on inpatient wards. A literature search was carried out on Medline and the Cochrane Databases using “diabetic ketoacidosis” as a MeSH heading and as textword. High yield journals were hand searched. Papers identified were appraised in the ways described in the Users’ guide series published in JAMA. We will not be discussing the derangements in intermediary metabolism involved, nor would we suggest extrapolating the proposed regimen to children. Although some of the issues discussed may be considered by some to be outwith the remit of A&E medicine it would seem prudent to ensure that A&E staff were aware of the probable management of such patients in the hours after they leave the A&E department. AETIOLOGY AND DEFINITION DKA may be the first presentation of diabetes. Insulin error (with or without intercurrent illness) is the most common precipitating factor, accounting for nearly two thirds of cases (excluding those where DKA was the first presentation of diabetes mellitus).2 The main features of DKA are hyperglycaemia, metabolic acidosis with a high anion gap and heavy ketonuria (box 1). This contrasts with the other hyperglycaemic diabetic emergency of hyperosmolar non-ketotic hyperglycaemia where there is no acidosis, absent or minimal ketonuria but often very high glucose levels (>33 mM) and very high serum sodium levels (>15 Continue reading >>
Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs
Studies show that female dogs (particularly non-spayed) are more prone to DKA, as are older canines. Diabetic ketoacidosis is best classified through the presence of ketones that exist in the liver, which are directly correlated to the lack of insulin being produced in the body. This is a very serious complication, requiring immediate veterinary intervention. Although a number of dogs can be affected mildly, the majority are very ill. Some dogs will not recover despite treatment, and concurrent disease has been documented in 70% of canines diagnosed with DKA. Diabetes with ketone bodies is also described in veterinary terms as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. It is a severe complication of diabetes mellitus. Excess ketone bodies result in acidosis and electrolyte abnormalities, which can lead to a crisis situation for your dog. If left in an untreated state, this condition can and will be fatal. Some dogs who are suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis may present as systemically well. Others will show severe illness. Symptoms may be seen as listed below: Change in appetite (either increase or decrease) Increased thirst Frequent urination Vomiting Abdominal pain Mental dullness Coughing Fatigue or weakness Weight loss Sometimes sweet smelling breath is evident Slow, deep respiration. There may also be other symptoms present that accompany diseases that can trigger DKA, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. While some dogs may live fairly normal lives with this condition before it is diagnosed, most canines who become sick will do so within a week of the start of the illness. There are four influences that can bring on DKA: Fasting Insulin deficiency as a result of unknown and untreated diabetes, or insulin deficiency due to an underlying disease that in turn exacerba Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Death? If So, How Can You Prevent This From Happening?
Simple Steps to Lower Your Risk Making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and some cancers. Control Your Weight Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half. Get Moving—and Turn Off the Television Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells. Tune Up Your Diet Four dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes. 1. Choose whole grains and whole grain products over highly processed arbohydrates. There is convincing evidence that diets rich in whole grains protect against diabetes, whereas diets rich in refined carbohydrates lead to increased risk . In the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II, for example, researchers looked at the whole grain consumption of more than 160,000 women whose health and dietary habits were followed for up to 18 years. Women who averaged two to three servings of whole grains a day were 30 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than those who rarely ate whole grains. When the researchers combined these results with those of several other large studies, they found that eating an extra 2 servings of whole grains a day decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21 percent. 2. Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee, or tea instead. Like refined grains, sugary beverages have a high glycemic load, and drinking more of this sugary stuff is associated with increased risk of diabetes. In the Nurses Continue reading >>
Will Obese People Starve To Death Before Their Fat Runs Out?
Treating obesity by total starvation is not advised as it can be very dangerous. There are many reports of total starvation leading to death. Some people have died of heart failure during the fast. Some people have died during the re-feeding period after the fast from lactic acidosis. There was a case of a successful medically managed fast in Scotland in 1965. A 27-year-old man weighing 207 kilograms, described as "grossly obese" turned up at the Department of Medicine at the Royal Infirmary in Dundee. He said he was sick of being fat and wanted to lose weight by eating nothing and living off his body fat. Doctors advised against this but told them he was going to fast flat out, whatever they said, so they may as well monitor him along the way. The staff gave him yeast tablets, multi-vitamins and essential minerals. Potassium is essential for the proper working of the heart, and when his potassium levels got a little low around the 100-day mark, he was given potassium tablets for about 70 days. He defecated infrequently, roughly every 40 to 50 days. He ended up fasting for one year and 17 days. Apart from water and the vitamin and mineral supplements he lived entirely off his copious body fat. He lost about 125 kilograms of weight over 382 days. Link below to paper about the case from BMJ Publishing Group: Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days' duration: 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 >>
What Is It? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially fatal complication of diabetes that occurs when you have much less insulin than your body needs. This problem causes the blood to become acidic and the body to become dangerously dehydrated. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when diabetes is not treated adequately, or it can occur during times of serious sickness. To understand this illness, you need to understand the way your body powers itself with sugar and other fuels. Foods we eat are broken down by the body, and much of what we eat becomes glucose (a type of sugar), which enters the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose to pass from the bloodstream into body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin normally is made by the pancreas, but people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) don't produce enough insulin and must inject it daily. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. 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. 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 filter some of the glucose (suga Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes Complications
Type 1 diabetes is complicated—and if you don’t manage it properly, there are complications, both short-term and long-term. “If you don’t manage it properly” is an important if statement: by carefully managing your blood glucose levels, you can stave off or prevent the short- and long-term complications. And if you’ve already developed diabetes complications, controlling your blood glucose levels can help you manage the symptoms and prevent further damage. Diabetes complications are all related to poor blood glucose control, so you must work carefully with your doctor and diabetes team to correctly manage your blood sugar (or your child’s blood sugar). Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It develops when there’s too much insulin—meaning that you’ve taken (or given your child) too much insulin or that you haven’t properly planned insulin around meals or exercise. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). There are three levels of hypoglycemia, depending on how low the blood glucose level has dropped: mild, moderate, and severe. If you treat hypoglycemia when it’s in the mild or moderate stages, then you can prevent far more serious problems; severe hypoglycemia can cause a coma and even death (although very, very rarely). The signs and symptoms of low blood glucose are usually easy to recognize: Rapid heartbeat Sweating Paleness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech For more information about hypoglycemia and how to treat it, please read our article on hy 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 Explained
Twitter Summary: DKA - a major complication of #diabetes – we describe what it is, symptoms, who’s at risk, prevention + treatment! One of the most notorious complications of diabetes is diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. First described in the late 19th century, DKA represented something close to the ultimate diabetes emergency: In just 24 hours, people can experience an onset of severe symptoms, all leading to coma or death. But DKA also represents one of the great triumphs of the revolution in diabetes care over the last century. Before the discovery of insulin in 1920, DKA was almost invariably fatal, but the mortality rate for DKA dropped to below 30 percent within 10 years, and now fewer than 1 percent of those who develop DKA die from it, provided they get adequate care in time. Don’t skip over that last phrase, because it’s crucial: DKA is very treatable, but only as long as it’s diagnosed promptly and patients understand the risk. Table of Contents: What are the symptoms of DKA? Does DKA occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes? What Can Patients do to Prevent DKA? What is DKA? Insulin plays a critical role in the body’s functioning: it tells cells to absorb the glucose in the blood so that the body can use it for energy. When there’s no insulin to take that glucose out of the blood, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) results. The body will also start burning fatty acids for energy, since it can’t get that energy from glucose. To make fatty acids usable for energy, the liver has to convert them into compounds known as ketones, and these ketones make the blood more acidic. DKA results when acid levels get too high in the blood. There are other issues too, as DKA also often leads to the overproduction and release of hormones like glucagon and adrenaline Continue reading >>
5 Common Type 1 Diabetes Complications
3 0 Type 1 diabetes carries with it a much higher risk of developing some associated serious health problems. While in the past, getting diabetes-related health complications was almost a certainty, with modern blood glucose monitoring, control, and treatment, the risks have decreased significantly. Even a few decades ago, life expectancy for people with diabetes was regularly considered to be 10 years shorter than for people without the disorder. In 2012, however, a large-scale study found that life-expectancy was now only about 6 years less than average. For comparison, a lifetime of smoking will reduce life expectancy by 10 years. So what are the diabetes complications that you need to be looking out for? Largely, they fall into either cardiovascular or neuropathic categories. To make diabetes complications even more complicated, they tend to affect people of different sexes and different ethnicities differently. One more wild card is that recent studies have found that some people with Type 1 diabetes actually never develop most of the complications associated with diabetes. The good news is that with proper blood glucose control and a healthy lifestyle, the risks for developing Type 1 diabetes complications are drastically reduced. Some studies have actually found that careful monitoring and management can reduce the chances of developing any of these by as much as 50%. Still, everyone with Type 1 diabetes should keep a careful eye out for the five most common diabetes complications. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic Ketoacidosis (or DKA), is a condition caused by severe hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) which causes rapid fat breakdown in the body. As the fat breaks down, they release fatty acids which are then converted into chemicals called ketones, which are highly Continue reading >>
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Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. Signs and symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, weakness, confusion, and occasionally loss of consciousness. A person's breath may develop a specific smell. Onset of symptoms is usually rapid. In some cases people may not realize they previously had diabetes. DKA happens most often in those with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in those with other types of diabetes under certain circumstances. Triggers may include infection, not taking insulin correctly, stroke, and certain medications such as steroids. DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids which produces acidic ketone bodies. DKA is typically diagnosed when testing finds high blood sugar, low blood pH, and ketoacids in either the blood or urine. The primary treatment of DKA is with intravenous fluids and insulin. Depending on the severity, insulin may be given intravenously or by injection under the skin. Usually potassium is also needed to prevent the development of low blood potassium. Throughout treatment blood sugar and potassium levels should be regularly checked. Antibiotics may be required in those with an underlying infection. In those with severely low blood pH, sodium bicarbonate may be given; however, its use is of unclear benefit and typically not recommended. Rates of DKA vary around the world. In the United Kingdom, about 4% of people with type 1 diabetes develop DKA each year, while in Malaysia the condition affects about 25% a year. DKA was first described in 1886 and, until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s, it was almost univ Continue reading >>