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Complications Of Untreated Dka

2. Learning Objectives

2. Learning Objectives

4.1. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Diabetic ketoacidosis results from lack of insulin and it is considered a medical emergency as it has a mortality rate of approximately 5 percent, mostly because of late recognition and frequently suboptimal management. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be the first manifestation of type 1 diabetes in a previously undiagnosed patient or can occur in a patient with type 1 diabetes when insulin requirements rise during medical stress. Noncompliance with insulin administration is another common cause of DKA. Although DKA is much more common in type 1 diabetes, it can also occur in patients with type 2 diabetes who have a predominant insulin secretory defect under severe medical stress. 4.1.1. Pathophysiology Diabetes is often referred to as "starvation in the midst of plenty" and the progression of events that results from acute insulin deficiency holds this concept to be valid. Insulin deficiency leads to impaired peripheral glucose uptake. In the presence of inadequate insulin, energy stores in fat and muscle are rapidly broken down into fatty acids and amino acids, which are then transported to the liver for conversion to glucose and ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate). Counter-regulatory hormones such as glucagon, catecholamines, cortisol and growth hormone rise in an attempt to correct the perceived low glucose levels, further contributing to hyperglycemia and ketonemia. The combination of increased production of glucose and ketones with decreased utilization (due to insulin deficiency) results in high levels of these substances. Hyperglycemia causes osmotic diuresis with an ensuing reduction of intravascular volume, which in turn causes an impairment of renal blood flow and an inability to excrete glucose which worsens the hypergl Continue reading >>

Preventing Ketoacidosis Complications In Diabetes

Preventing Ketoacidosis Complications In Diabetes

Risk factors associated with diabetic ketoacidosis typically do not change. Preventing DKA should focus on identification of those most at risk and educating them good self-care to avoid incidents. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) a hyperglycemic crisis most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is often the first symptom of diabetes to appear in the undiagnosed population. Managing the condition effectively to prevent incidence is important because of the associated mor-bidity and resulting economic impact.1 Studies have shown that hospitalizations resulting from DKA amount to an annual cost of more than $2.4 billion in the United States.1 THE PATHOLOGY BEHIND KETOACIDOSIS? Reduced concentrations of effective insulin and increased amounts of coun-ter-regulatory hormones. Since the body cannot break down and use sugar as an energy source, it draws energy from fat tissue; increased lipolysis releases free fatty acids in the blood and causes oxi-dation of hepatic fatty acids to ketone bodies, resulting in ketonemia and metabolic acidosis.1,2 DKA is also observed in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, most of-ten a result of uncontrolled blood sugar, missed doses of insulin, or a comorbidity. If left untreated, DKA can lead to cerebral edema, heart attack, pulmonary or gastrointestinal complications, or kidney failure.2,3 INCIDENCE OF DKA Multiple studies have determined that socioeconomic status can greatly influ-ence patients’ insulin compliance. One investigation, which focused on adult patients from an innercity area, found poor compliance to be dictated by be-havioral, socioeconomic, psychosocial, and educational factors. The authors concluded that culturally appropriate interventions and education programs could remedy DKA recurrence in this pop Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Explained

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 >>

Rare Complications Of Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Rare Complications Of Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Go to: CEREBRAL EDEMA Many children who present with DKA have some degree of altered mental status. Typically the altered status is due to acidosis or hyperosmolarity, although some studies show that subclinical cerebral edema occurs in the majority of patients in DKA[9,10]. Approximately 0.5%-1% of children in DKA develop frank cerebral edema[11-13]. Morbidity related to cerebral edema is approximately 13%-35% and mortality 24%-28%[12,14]. Risk factors for the development of cerebral edema during DKA include new onset T1DM, low bicarbonate, low partial pressure of CO2, and high BUN[13,15]. Conventional thinking attributes the mechanism of injury in cerebral edema to swelling from an influx of fluid into the brain[15-17]. This influx is thought to be due to the rapidly declining serum osmolarity caused by overly aggressive fluid resuscitation; however, data reveals the only treatment-related risk factor to be administration of bicarbonate[15]. The association between high fluid infusion rates and development of cerebral edema trends toward, but does not reach, statistical significance[13]. Radiographic confirmation of cerebral edema in patients with DKA prior to initiation of fluid therapy further discredits the association[13,15]. Also, many children have normal brain imaging at the onset of clinical cerebral edema and do not develop radiographic signs of edema until hours or days later, suggesting that edema is a consequence rather than the cause of injury[11]. A more plausible hypothesis is that cerebral edema is caused by cerebral hypoperfusion, which leads to cytotoxic edema (cell swelling and death) at presentation followed by vasogenic edema (breakdown of the blood brain barrier leading to capillary leakage) during treatment[9]. There is supporting evidence for t Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Preventing Complications

Diabetes: Preventing Complications

Diabetes complications can be divided into two types: acute (sudden) and chronic (long-term). This article discusses these complications and strategies to prevent the complications from occurring in the first place. Acute complications Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar non-ketotic syndrome (HHNS) Acute complications of diabetes can occur at any time in the course of the disease. Chronic complications Cardiovascular: Heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke Eye: Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma Nerve damage: Neuropathy Kidney damage: Nephropathy Chronic complications are responsible for most illness and death associated with diabetes. Chronic complications usually appear after several years of elevated blood sugars (hyperglycemia). Since patients with Type 2 diabetes may have elevated blood sugars for several years before being diagnosed, these patients may have signs of complications at the time of diagnosis. Basic principles of prevention of diabetes complications: Take your medications (pills and/or insulin) as prescribed by your doctor. Monitor your blood sugars closely. Follow a sensible diet. Do not skip meals. Exercise regularly. See your doctor regularly to monitor for complications. Results from untreated hyperglycemia. Blood sugars typically range from 300 to 600. Occurs mostly in patients with Type 1 diabetes (uncommon in Type 2). Occurs due to a lack of insulin. Body breaks down its own fat for energy, and ketones appear in the urine and blood. Develops over several hours. Can cause coma and even death. Typically requires hospitalization. Nausea, vomiting Abdominal pain Drowsiness, lethargy (fatigue) Deep, rapid breathing Increased thirst Fruity-smelling breath Dehydration Inadequate insulin administration (not getting Continue reading >>

Ketoacidosis: A Complication Of Diabetes

Ketoacidosis: A Complication Of Diabetes

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can occur as a complication of diabetes. People with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) have high blood sugar levels and a build-up of chemicals called ketones in the body that makes the blood more acidic than usual. Diabetic ketoacidosis can develop when there isn’t enough insulin in the body for it to use sugars for energy, so it starts to use fat as a fuel instead. When fat is broken down to make energy, ketones are made in the body as a by-product. Ketones are harmful to the body, and diabetic ketoacidosis can be life-threatening. Fortunately, treatment is available and is usually successful. Symptoms Ketoacidosis usually develops gradually over hours or days. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: excessive thirst; increased urination; tiredness or weakness; a flushed appearance, with hot dry skin; nausea and vomiting; dehydration; restlessness, discomfort and agitation; fruity or acetone smelling breath (like nail polish remover); abdominal pain; deep or rapid breathing; low blood pressure (hypotension) due to dehydration; and confusion and coma. See your doctor as soon as possible or seek emergency treatment if you develop symptoms of ketoacidosis. Who is at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. It rarely affects people with type 2 diabetes. DKA may be the first indication that a person has type 1 diabetes. It can also affect people with known diabetes who are not getting enough insulin to meet their needs, either due to insufficient insulin or increased needs. Ketoacidosis most often happens when people with diabetes: do not get enough insulin due to missed or incorrect doses of insulin or problems with their insulin pump; have an infection or illne Continue reading >>

Diabetes Danger: Warning Over Life-threatening Complications Ketoacidosis And Diabulimia

Diabetes Danger: Warning Over Life-threatening Complications Ketoacidosis And Diabulimia

The condition occurs when the body is unable to use blood sugar (glucose) because there isn't enough insulin. Instead, it breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel. This causes a build-up of a potentially harmful by-product called ketones. It's fairly common in people with type 1 diabetes and can very occasionally affect those with type 2 diabetes. “It sometimes develops in people who were previously unaware they had diabetes. NRS Healthcare has set out to raise awareness for people suffering with the condition and also highlight other issues including diabulimia, a recently reported condition where young people with diabetes choose not to take their insulin in order to lose weight. Alexandra Lomas, who is living with type 1 diabetes, has spoken out about how her delayed diagnosis led to her going through ketoacidosis and warned how young girls living with diabulimia risk experiencing the same horrific symptoms. “Before I had diabetes I had this long luscious thick hair, it was kind of like my crowning glory. “Six months leading up to my diagnosis I would be brushing my hair and pulling out these great big clumps of hair. “I lost six stone is as many months. I eventually lost so much weight that the sugar in my blood had started to eat away at my muscles. “Leading up to going into hospital was really really difficult. “When I got to the hospital they measured my heart rate and it was at 268 beats a minute - the normal rate is around 60 per minute. I felt like I was having a heart attack. “I recently read a story on diabulimia, where young girls across the UK aren’t taking their insulin as a type 1 diabetic in order to make their blood sugars rise and eat away at their fat and muscle and therefore they keep their weight down. “I wanted to make th Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition that can occur in diabetes. DKA happens when acidic substances, called ketones, build up in your body. Ketones are formed when your body burns fat for fuel instead of sugar, or glucose. That can happen if you don’t have enough insulin in your body to help you process sugars. Learn more: Ketosis vs. ketoacidosis: What you should know » Left untreated, ketones can build up to dangerous levels. DKA can occur in people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but it’s rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA can also develop if you are at risk for diabetes, but have not received a formal diagnosis. It can be the first sign of type 1 diabetes. DKA is a medical emergency. Call your local emergency services immediately if you think you are experiencing DKA. Symptoms of DKA can appear quickly and may include: frequent urination extreme thirst high blood sugar levels high levels of ketones in the urine nausea or vomiting abdominal pain confusion fruity-smelling breath a flushed face fatigue rapid breathing dry mouth and skin It is important to make sure you consult with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. If left untreated, DKA can lead to a coma or death. All people who use insulin should discuss the risk of DKA with their healthcare team, to make sure a plan is in place. If you think you are experiencing DKA, seek immediate medical help. Learn more: Blood glucose management: Checking for ketones » If you have type 1 diabetes, you should maintain a supply of home urine ketone tests. You can use these to test your ketone levels. A high ketone test result is a symptom of DKA. If you have type 1 diabetes and have a glucometer reading of over 250 milligrams per deciliter twice, you should test your urine for keton Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State

The hallmark of diabetes is a raised plasma glucose resulting from an absolute or relative lack of insulin action. Untreated, this can lead to two distinct yet overlapping life-threatening emergencies. Near-complete lack of insulin will result in diabetic ketoacidosis, which is therefore more characteristic of type 1 diabetes, whereas partial insulin deficiency will suppress hepatic ketogenesis but not hepatic glucose output, resulting in hyperglycaemia and dehydration, and culminating in the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state. Hyperglycaemia is characteristic of diabetic ketoacidosis, particularly in the previously undiagnosed, but it is the acidosis and the associated electrolyte disorders that make this a life-threatening condition. Hyperglycaemia is the dominant feature of the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state, causing severe polyuria and fluid loss and leading to cellular dehydration. Progression from uncontrolled diabetes to a metabolic emergency may result from unrecognised diabetes, sometimes aggravated by glucose containing drinks, or metabolic stress due to infection or intercurrent illness and associated with increased levels of counter-regulatory hormones. Since diabetic ketoacidosis and the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state have a similar underlying pathophysiology the principles of treatment are similar (but not identical), and the conditions may be considered two extremes of a spectrum of disease, with individual patients often showing aspects of both. Pathogenesis of DKA and HHS Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone which helps nutrients to enter the cells, where these nutrients can be used either as fuel or as building blocks for cell growth and expansion. The complementary action of insulin is to antagonise the breakdown of fuel stores. Thus, the relea Continue reading >>

What Happens If Diabetes Goes Untreated?

What Happens If Diabetes Goes Untreated?

Diabetes is on the rise. The number of people affected in the U.S. has tripled since 1980, with nearly 26 million Americans affected in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes, diet and medications. Insulin injections are necessary to treat type 1 diabetes and advanced cases of type 2 diabetes. Untreated diabetes can result in life-threatening metabolic crises. Even if emergency situations are avoided, poorly controlled diabetes damages blood vessels and nerves throughout the body, with devastating consequences over time. Video of the Day Untreated diabetes can be fatal. One dangerous short-term complication is diabetic ketoacidosis, a rapidly progressing condition. Low insulin levels cause sugar to build up in the blood. The body breaks down fat for fuel, resulting in a buildup of byproducts called ketones and lowering the blood pH. Classic signs and symptoms of DKA are breathing that sounds like sighs, confusion, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, dehydration and a fruity smell on the breath. Trauma, stress and infections raise the risk for DKA. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state is another dangerous complication of untreated diabetes. Prominent signs and symptoms include weakness, leg cramps, visual problems, low-grade fever, abdominal bloating and dehydration. HHS is most common in older adults with type 2 diabetes. The condition develops with profoundly high blood sugar levels. Both DKA and HHS are life-threatening medical emergencies. Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can damage your eyes. Blood vessel leakage and an overgrowth of new vessels can damage the vision-perceiving portion of the eye. These changes -- known as diabetic retinopathy -- Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Tweet Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous complication faced by people with diabetes which happens when the body starts running out of insulin. DKA is most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes, however, people with type 2 diabetes that produce very little of their own insulin may also be affected. Ketoacidosis is a serious short term complication which can result in coma or even death if it is not treated quickly. Read about Diabetes and Ketones What is diabetic ketoacidosis? DKA occurs when the body has insufficient insulin to allow enough glucose to enter cells, and so the body switches to burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketone bodies. A high level of ketone bodies in the blood can cause particularly severe illness. Symptoms of DKA Diabetic ketoacidosis may itself be the symptom of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. Typical symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Vomiting Dehydration An unusual smell on the breath –sometimes compared to the smell of pear drops Deep laboured breathing (called kussmaul breathing) or hyperventilation Rapid heartbeat Confusion and disorientation Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually evolve over a 24 hour period if blood glucose levels become and remain too high (hyperglycemia). Causes and risk factors for diabetic ketoacidosis As noted above, DKA is caused by the body having too little insulin to allow cells to take in glucose for energy. This may happen for a number of reasons including: Having blood glucose levels consistently over 15 mmol/l Missing insulin injections If a fault has developed in your insulin pen or insulin pump As a result of illness or infections High or prolonged levels of stress Excessive alcohol consumption DKA may also occur prior to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis can occasional Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Introduction Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. The hormone insulin – produced by the pancreas – is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin Type 2 – where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don't react to insulin This topic is about type 1 diabetes. Read more about type 2 diabetes Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear following birth. It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible, because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. You should therefore visit your GP if you have symptoms, which include feeling thirsty, passing urine more often than usual and feeling tired all the time (see the list below for more diabetes symptoms). Type 1 and type 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but usually appears before the age of 40, particularly in childhood. Around 10% of all diabetes is type 1, but it's the most common type of childhood diabetes. This is why it's sometimes called juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) doesn't produce any insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. This is why it's also sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can, over time, seriously damage the body's organs. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin. Around 90% of adults with diabetes have type 2, and it tends to develop l Continue reading >>

Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)

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 >>

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

An Overview Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is considered to be one of the most severe metabolic imbalance associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, wherein a patient depends upon external sources of insulin as its body is unable to make it as per the body’s requirement. DKA is seen very commonly in about 35% to 40% of young diabetic patients including small children and teenagers when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Patients who are not suffering with type 1 form of diabetes could also fall under the risk of acquiring DKA condition due to various other reasons. Every diabetic patient irrespective of the type of diabetes, can develop DKA, when facing any other form of illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis is often a serious condition that may require immediate hospitalization for the patient. Approximately, 160,000 hospital admissions per year in the United States occur in this regard. Unfortunately DKA is seen to show maximum complication in young adults including teenagers and of course the elderly patients. Complication arising out diabetic ketoacidosis also accounts for a number of deaths in the US for children and young patients suffering from diabetes. The biggest challenge in the management of this condition comes with the lack of awareness of the unmanaged diabetes in patients that is not taken very seriously event today. What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life threatening complication associated with diabetes. This condition arises when the body produces excess quantities of ketoacids. The risk of developing ketoacidosis is greater in people with Type 1 diabetes. The condition develops when the amount of insulin produced by the body is insufficient. As insulin levels dr Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

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 >>

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