‘i Was 26 And Most Type 1 Diabetics Are Diagnosed In Childhood': The Deadly Danger Too Many Diabetics Aren't Warned About
Hannah Postles discovered she had type 1 diabetes after going to A&E with blurred vision. It wasn’t her only symptom. For the previous three weeks, she’d been thirsty, drinking two bottles of water at lunch, had lost weight and felt run down. Scroll down for video ‘My boss suggested I might have diabetes after looking up my symptoms online, but my GP seemed to dismiss it because of my age,’ says Hannah, a press officer for the University of Sheffield. ‘I was 26 and most type 1 diabetics are diagnosed in childhood.’ Luckily, Hannah spoke to a doctor friend who told her to go to A&E, where she was tested for diabetes, and immediately put on an insulin drip. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make insulin, the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood. Typically, people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed around the age of 12 — although occasionally adults are diagnosed in later life. Type 2 diabetes, which can be diagnosed at any age, occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin itself does not work properly. Not only did Hannah have diabetes, her blood sugar levels were so out of control by the time she was diagnosed that she had developed diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition when blood glucose levels remain persistently high for days or weeks. The condition can be caused by illness or infection or by the mismanagement of diabetes — which, as Hannah, now 29, discovered, can be the result of not knowing you have it. Symptoms include vomiting, headaches, abdominal pain and, if left too long, coma and even death. Had Hannah not gone to A&E, she might have died. In July 2012, new mother Nicky Rigby, 26, from the Wirral, did die from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. She’d assumed her chronic tiredness a Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Kill You?
Here’s what you need to know about the life-threatening diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Symptoms can take you by surprise, coming on in just 24 hours or less. Without diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, you will fall into a coma and die. “Every minute that the person is not treated is [another] minute closer to death,” says Joel Zonszein, MD, professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. (Diabetic ketoacidosis most often affects people with type 1 diabetes, but there is also type 2 diabetes ketoacidosis.) Without insulin, sugar can’t be stored in your cells to be used as energy and builds up in your blood instead. Your body has to go to a back-up energy system: fat. In the process of breaking down fat for energy, your body releases fatty acids and acids called ketones. Ketones are an alternative form of energy for the body, and just having them in your blood isn’t necessarily harmful. That’s called ketosis, and it can happen when you go on a low-carb diet or even after fasting overnight. “When I put people on a restricted diet, I can get an estimate of how vigorously they’re pursuing it by the presence of ketones in the urine,” says Gerald Bernstein, MD, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. RELATED: The Ketogenic Diet Might Be the Next Big Weight Loss Trend, But Should You Try It? But too many ketones are a problem. “In individuals with diabetes who have no or low insulin production, there is an overproduction of ketones, and the kidneys can’t get rid of them fast enough,” sa Continue reading >>
How Does Diabetic Ketoacidosis Kill You
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Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
Pumping Pitfalls Avoiding and dealing with pump-related problems For anyone who uses an insulin pump, there are bound to be occasional problems. For some, problems may be as rare as a Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory; for others they may occur as often as a Hollywood scandal. Insulin pumps, being mechanical devices, are subject to mishaps that can result in interruptions or irregularities in insulin delivery or action. When too little insulin is being infused into your body, high blood sugar will occur. When absorption is inconsistent, highs and lows can occur. And if no insulin is being delivered, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can occur in just a few hours. Fending Off DKA DKA is a serious condition that will make you very ill and can kill you. The primary cause of DKA is a lack of working insulin in the body, accompanied by dehydration. When you are using an insulin pump, there is no long-acting insulin present in your body. Any interruption in insulin delivery can result in a sharp rise in blood sugar and ketone production can start as soon as three hours after the last bit of insulin was infused. The most important step in preventing ketoacidosis is early detection of the problem. You accomplish this by checking for ketones with any unusually high blood sugar levels. Everyone on a pump should be prepared to test for ketones and you can do this by way of a urine dipstick (ketostix or ketodiastix) or a fingerstick blood sample (Precion Xtra meter from Abbott). Positive ketones are indicated by either of the following: • Urine testing that indicates small, moderate or large levels of ketones (³15 mg/dl) • Blood testing that indicates the presence of b-Hydroxybutyrate (³.6 mmol/l) If your ketone test shows negative or trace amounts, your high blood sugar is prob 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 >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it. August 4, 2009 Good article nominee Listed Ideal sources for Wikipedia's health content are defined in the guideline Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine) and are typically review articles. Here are links to possibly useful sources of information about Diabetic ketoacidosis. PubMed provides review articles from the past five years (limit to free review articles or to systematic reviews) The TRIP database provides clinical publications about evidence-based medicine. Other potential sources include: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination and CDC WikiProject Medicine [hide](Rated GA-class, Mid-importance) This article is within the scope of WikiProject Medicine, which recommends that medicine-related articles follow the Manual of Style for medicine-related articles and that biomedical information in any article use high-quality medical sources. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine. GA This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale. Mid This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale. Comment The section "Ketone body production" is very poor; it needs rewritten. Ketones needn't be desribed as "fuel for the brain" - they are used in the production of acetyl-CoA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dermotmallon (talk • contribs) 10:54, 10 June 2008 (UTC) more re ketone bodies The mechanism section does not clearly explain the pathophysiology of DKA. I am not an expert, but I believe the release of acidifying ketone bod Continue reading >>
How Does Diabetic Ketoacidosis Kill You
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My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis
The Truth Behind My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A day like any other, can turn into a day you’ll never forget) With diabetes comes the good and the bad. When it’s good, it can be REALLY good. But when it’s bad…it can be life-threatening. I’ve certainly had my share of bad days. Trying to battle the high and the lows, and trying to stay as close to normal without losing my sanity. With having diabetes I’ve experienced many symptoms. But one day came symptoms like no other… chills – nausea – vomiting – back pain – weakness – blurred vision … and lots of ketones I had DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) This was years ago, after a night of drinking with friends. Wanting to live a free, independent young adult life. Knowing, yet not knowing how destructive being the slightest bit careless could affect my diabetes. I just felt terrible. To the point where I questioned where to take insulin or not. I thought to myself … Well I don’t really plan on eating today, and I don’t want to worry about dropping “low”. I thought I was saving myself from having to fix my blood sugar. So I missed my morning dose… (Boy, was that a mistake – NEVER – would I do this again) I didn’t know at the time that insulin is needed (with or without food) Even on sick days! Without insulin in my body, my body couldn’t receive the energy to function properly. I kept close eyes on my blood sugar for a few hours that day, which was only in the mid 200’s. I thought that due to the fact I wasn’t eating, my blood sugar would come down eventually anyways. But the symptoms progressed. I couldn’t keep anything down … not even water. To be honest, DKA never came to mind. I’ve always taken my insulin. The only other time was when I was diagnosed, and was mo Continue reading >>
Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)
Unfortunately, we veterinarians are seeing an increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. This is likely due to the growing prevalence of obesity (secondary to inactive lifestyle, a high carbohydrate diet, lack of exercise, etc.). So, if you just had a dog or cat diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, what do you do? First, we encourage you to take a look at these articles for an explanation of the disease: Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes) in Dogs Once you have a basic understanding of diabetes mellitus (or if you already had one), this article will teach you about life-threatening complications that can occur as a result of the disease; specifically, I discuss a life-threatening condition called diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) so that you know how to help prevent it! What is DKA? When diabetes goes undiagnosed, or when it is difficult to control or regulate, the complication of DKA can occur. DKA develops because the body is so lacking in insulin that the sugar can’t get into the cells -- resulting in cell starvation. Cell starvation causes the body to start breaking down fat in an attempt to provide energy (or a fuel source) to the body. Unfortunately, these fat breakdown products, called “ketones,” are also poisonous to the body. Symptoms of DKA Clinical signs of DKA include the following: Weakness Not moving (in cats, hanging out by the water bowl) Not eating to complete anorexia Large urinary clumps in the litter box (my guideline? If it’s bigger than a tennis ball, it’s abnormal) Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition Excessively dry or oily skin coat Abnormal breath (typically a sweet “ketotic” odor) In severe cases DKA can also result in more significant signs: Abnormal breathing pattern Jaundice Ab Continue reading >>
How To Lower Your Blood Sugar When It's Really High
This article is written for type 2 diabetics who need help coming down from a very high blood sugar during a single, isolated high blood sugar event. If you want to try an stabilize your baseline, consider signing up for my Baseline Blood Sugar Challenge course. THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR REAL MEDICAL ADVICE. If you're a type 2 diabetic and your blood sugar is high right now (greater than 300mg/dL for at least 6 hours), the first thing you should do is call your doctor. So, if you haven't called anyone for help yet, please stop reading this article and call your doctor. If your doctor is able to help, then you need not read on. Also, if you are having symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, stop reading this article and go to the hospital immediately. Diabetic Ketoacidosis can kill you if left untreated. But. If you're in a situation where your blood sugar has been high for an extended period of time, you could perhaps consider taking the following steps to solve your blood sugar problem. Disclaimer: This is friendly, non-medical advice from a random diabetic person you don't even know, which is a very (very) poor substitute for real, actual medical advice. Use at your own risk. First, you should try and lower your blood sugar without injectable insulin by completing the following steps: 1. Check your blood sugar. Write down the time and your blood sugar level. 2. Drink water (this doesn't actually lower blood sugar, but it helps flush sugar and ketones from your body, if you have them). Continue drinking water, but please don't make yourself sick. 3. Move. As in, walk. Walk around the block or walk in place or haul your ass up and down the stairs for 30-60 minutes. Walking helps your cells become less insulin resistant, which is what you need right now. Do N Continue reading >>
Beware The Perils Of Severe Hypoglycemia
Over 80 years ago, famed diabetologist Elliot Joslin said about the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes: “Ketoacidosis may kill a patient, but frequent hypoglycemic reactions will ruin him.” Unfortunately, hypoglycemia continues to be the most difficult problem facing most patients, families, and caregivers who deal with the management of type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. Frequent hypoglycemia episodes not only can “ruin,” or adversely impact the quality of life for patients, but also, when severe, can cause seizures, coma, and even death. A Tragic Case Recently, our group published a case report in the journal Endocrine Practice describing a tragic death from hypoglycemia that occurred while the patient slept in his own bed. Our patient, a 23-year-old man with type 1 diabetes who had a history of recurrent severe hypoglycemia, was using an older model insulin pump and wearing a separate, non-real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. He was given the CGM in 2005 for the purpose of tracking his nocturnal (nighttime) blood glucose values and making further insulin pump adjustments. After he was pronounced dead in the emergency room, our diabetes nurse removed the pump and CGM to help us understand what happened. His insulin pump was found to have been working correctly. What we learned was that after supper, he had a heavy workout at a gym, followed by a late snack. Between 8 pm and midnight, he “stacked” five boluses of insulin, totaling 7.35 units (33% of his basal dose), in an attempt to keep his glucose values in “tight” control. The downloaded sensor demonstrated that his glucose values fell from about 200 mg/dL at midnight to under 50 mg/dL by 2:00 am, and to under 30 mg/dL by 5:00 am – three hours before he was found by his pare Continue reading >>
Why Does Diabetes Cause Rapid Weight Loss?
So, I’m going to assume that you’re talking about type 1 diabetes. There are two types of diabetes that are distinctly different metabolic disorders. The answer to your question is the effects of insulin in the body. When type 1’s lose their production of insulin, their bodies no longer are able to store fat or even utilize what blood sugar is being produced by the body. This causes the body to basically consume first fat and then even lean muscle mass. If you look at left hand picture of this type 1 before the discovery of insulin you’ll see the emaciated look of someone starving. The picture on the right shows a more normal body weight after insulin injections were started. So, for type 1’s the lack of insulin can cause rapid weight loss. The lack of insulin causes the body to start basically eating itself. Type 2’s can lose weight if their bodies stop producing insulin; however, for most type 2’s things work in reverse. They have a problem of insulin resistance caused by too much insulin in their system. Too much insulin normally causes the type 2’s to store fat and gain weight. That’s the connection between type 2 diabetes and obesity. Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
In Defense Of Fasting: Common Misconceptions
Clearing misconceptions For those of you wondering, the tone of this article has been highly edited from my anger-rant earlier. I used my blog as catharsis, but now it’s back to business. I get a message across better being polite anyway. Fasting is a fairly unique diet technique. It’s at a crossroads (more like highway junction) of efficacy, health, social perception, eating disorders, and overall safety. It’s not bad given you avoid a few pitfalls and don’t blatantly starve yourself, but some people are still caught up in the midst of all this confusion, not knowing whether not eating for a single day will hurt them or help them. This article is subject to editing in the future. I am using this to keep tabs on the current science of fasting, both good and bad. It might be nice to keep it bookmarked and come back to it from time to time. I also suspect some time in the future it might become Tl;Dr, but a valuable tool nonetheless. This can be used in drug testing also and because of this some people have found a way to access synthetic urine. One of the most popular sites is Since fasting is put on ‘trail’ a lot, I figured I might bring up the common arguments like a court case. Just for kicks. Exhibit A: Ketosis and Ketoacidosis First, definitions: Ketosis is the state of an organism characterized by elevated serum levels of ketones Ketoacidosis is a metabolic state characterized by uncontrolled production of ketone bodies and decreased serum pH Ketosis is the presence of ketones, ketoacidosis is the presence of ketones combined with a drop in pH. The drop in pH is due in part to overproduction of ketones (which are acidic in nature) and a failure of the body/diet to buffer said acidity. So from this, we can preliminarily conclude that ketoacidosis will ki Continue reading >>