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Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka), Brief Description, Diagnosis And Management Simplified

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life threatening complication of diabetes mellitis. DKA occurs predominantly in patients with type 1 diabetes and may be the presenting manifestation. It can also occur in patients with type 2 diabetes under certain circumstances. It results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids which produces acidic ketone bodies that cause most of the signs and symptoms. ETIOLOGY: DKA results from insulin insufficiency with a relative or absolute increase in glucagon and may be caused by insufficient or interrupted insulin therapy, infections (pneumonia, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis, sepsis), infarction (cerebral, coronary, mesenteric, peripheral), emotional stress, excessive alcohol intake, surgery, pregnancy and trauma, and certain drugs such as steroids, cocaine etc. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: DKA clinically presents as polydypsia (excessive intake of fluid due to pronounced thirst), polyuria (excessive urination) anorexia (loss of appetite), nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, rapid breathing (kussmaul respiration), fruity breath odor of acetone, fever, tachycardia, hypotension, signs of dehydratio Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. jlr820, BSN

    Yes it is. The bloodstream is absolutely full of glucose (since it isn't entering cells and being metabolized). This glucose load makes the blood HYPERosmolar and the kidneys respond by trying to remove glucose through urination. They cannot effectively deal with the large glucose load, and that's why glucose "spills" into the urine. The process of excessive urine output secondary to the large glucose load is called osmotic diuresis, and the client loses a HUGE amount of fluid through this diuretic effect, leading to profound dehydration.

  2. NRSKarenRN

    check out these prior posts:
    question about dka - nursing for nurses
    nursing interventions - nursing for nurses
    clincal articles:
    diabetic ketoacidosis: emedicine pediatrics: cardiac disease and
    diabetic ketoacidosis: emedicine endocrinology
    how do i care for a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis
    dka nursing care plan
    acccn's critical care nursing - google books result

  3. ghurricane

    Thanks so much!! Here is another oddity that makes no sense. I know there is potassium depletion due to frequent urination, but why do labs usually indicate hyperkalemia?

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