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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complications of untreated diabetes. In this complication, severely insufficient insulin levels in the body results into high blood sugar that leads to the production and buildup of ketones in the blood. These ketones are slightly acidic, and large amounts of them can lead to ketoacidosis. If remained untreated, the condition leads to diabetic coma and may be fatal. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) gets triggered by a stressful event on the body, such as an illness or severe lack of insulin. DKA is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. In some cases, identification of DKA is the first indication that a person has diabetes. Early Sluggish and extreme tiredness Fruity smell to breath (like acetone) Extreme thirst, despite large fluid intake Constant urination/bedwetting Extreme weight loss Presence of Oral Thrush or yeast infections that fail to go away Muscle wasting Agitation / Irritation / Aggression / Confusion Late At this stage, Diabetic ketoacidosis reaches a life-threatening level: Vomiting. Although this can be a sign of hyperglycemia and isn't always a late-stage sign, it can occur with or without ketoacidosis. Confusion Abdominal pain Loss of appetite Flu-like symptoms Unconsciousness (diabetic coma) Being lethargic and apathetic Extreme weakness Kussmaul breathing (air hunger). In this condition, patients breathe more deeply and/or more rapidly The major risk factors accelerating on set of diabetic ketoacidosis include the following: Diabetes mellitus: Type 1 diabetics are at a higher risk of DKA, because they must rely on outside insulin sources for survival. DKA can occur in patients with type 2, particularly in obese children. Age: DKA may occur at any age, but younger people below 19 years of age are more susceptib Continue reading >>

Low-carb Diets & Ketoacidosis

Low-carb Diets & Ketoacidosis

Drastically switching up your diet always carries the risk of side effects -- which is why it's important to talk to a doctor first -- but low-carb diets shouldn't cause ketoacidosis. This life-threatening condition, which develops when the blood becomes acidic, is generally only a risk for people with undiagnosed or poorly controlled type-1 diabetes. Low-carb diets actually put you in ketosis, a very mild form of ketoacidosis that does not carry the same life-threatening risk. Video of the Day Low-Carb Diets and Your Metabolism Reducing your carb intake can whittle your waist, and more restrictive low-carb diets speed up weight loss by affecting how your body generates energy. Normally, your body turns to carbs as the primary source of energy for your cells, and several tissues -- like your liver and muscles -- store carbs in the form of glycogen for almost-immediate energy. However, on a low-carb diet you're not getting enough carbs to replenish those glycogen stores, so your body turns to fat. It burns fatty acids -- the fat molecules that help make up your fat tissue -- to create ketone bodies, an alternate source of fuel. Because you're creating more ketone bodies for energy, you're burning more fat -- and losing weight. Low-Carb Diets Cause Dietary Ketosis Diets low enough in carbs to switch your primary fuel source over to ketone bodies are called ketogenic diets, and those that restrict your carb intake to 20 to 25 grams daily are typically low-carb enough to put you into ketosis. In addition to burning fat, ketogenic diets help you lose weight by controlling your appetite. One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008, found that men following a ketogenic diet ate less and reported feeling less hungry than dieters following a modera Continue reading >>

Diabulimia: A Life-threatening Approach To Thinness

Diabulimia: A Life-threatening Approach To Thinness

By Kathryn E. Ackerman, MD, MPH and Tarin E. Jackson People living with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) are taught to be conscious of the foods they eat. They decide their dose of insulin shots based on how many carbs they eat. This focus on food can become obsessive. People who have type 1 DM and are fixated on their body image are at risk for eating disorders similar to anorexia nervosa and bulimia. “Diabulimia” [dye-a-byoo-LEE-mee-uh], an unofficial, non-medical term that combines “diabetes” and “bulimia,” describes the condition that results from omitting or reducing insulin doses to lose weight. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to metabolize food, specifically sugar (glucose). People with type 1 DM do not make insulin. As a result, their cells cannot use glucose and will “starve” unless insulin is injected. When the body cannot use glucose for energy, it begins to break down fat. This causes acid byproducts called ketones [KEE-tones]. Glucose is lost in the urine and fat is burned, leading to rapid weight loss. However, if the ketones and blood sugar levels continue to increase, the person’s life will be in danger from extreme dehydration and acidosis, known as diabetic ketoacidosis [KEE-toh-ass-i-DOH-sis] (DKA). Diabulimics often try a dangerous balancing act. They purposely skip some insulin doses to lose weight, while trying to avoid DKA. They may lie about their blood sugar levels, skip A1c checks, and use other means to hide their high blood sugars. Diabulimics often feel weak, cannot concentrate, and become thirsty. But even if diabulimics don’t develop DKA or the symptoms of poor blood sugar control, over time they will be at high risk for diabetic complications. These complications include kidney damage, blindness, and heart diseas Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the hallmark of type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. DKA is an emergency condition caused by a disturbance in your body’s metabolism. Extremely high blood glucose levels, along with a severe lack of insulin, result in the breakdown of body fat for energy and an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Statistics on Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur in between 16%-80% of children presenting with newly diagnosed diabetes. It remains the most common cause of death for young type 1 diabetes sufferers. Before the discovery of insulin, mortality rates were up to 100%. Today, the mortality has fallen to around 2% due to early identification and treatment. Death is usually caused by cerebral oedema (swelling of the brain). DKA is most common in type 1 diabetes sufferers but may also occur in those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the latter group usually has at least some functioning insulin so suffer from another disorder called hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma (HONK). DKA tends to occur in individuals younger than 19 years, the more brittle of type 1 diabetic patients. However, DKA can affect diabetic patients of any age or sex. Risk Factors for Diabetic Ketoacidosis People with diabetes lack sufficient insulin, a hormone the body uses to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar) for energy. Therefore in diabetic patients glucose is not available as a fuel, so the body turns to fat stores for energy. However when fats are broken down they produce byproducts called ketones which build up in the blood and can be damaging to the body. In particular, accumulated ketones can “spill” over into the urine and make the blood become more acidic than body tissues (ketoacidosis). Blood gl 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 >>

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 >>

Clinical Features Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Clinical Features Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Clinical presentation of DKA may vary according to the severity and comorbid conditions. The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) usually develop rapidly over 1 day or less and may include: polyuria with polydipsia – commonest presenting symptom weight loss fatigue dyspnea vomiting preceding febrile illness abdominal pain polyphagia Patients may have tachycardia, poor skin turgor, dry mucous membranes, and orthostatic hypotension due to dehydration (1). Deep (Kussmaul) respirations are seen as a compensatory mechanism for metabolic acidosis (1) If severely ill, extreme cases may progress to shock, oliguria and anuria. The breath may have a distinctive fruity smell - ketotic breath; however the ability to detect this smell is absent is a sizeable proportion of the population - and, by extrapolation, the medical population. Mental status of patient may vary from confusion, drowsiness, progressive obtundation to loss of consciousness and coma (1,2) Note: nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain that may mimic an acute abdominal condition DKA may rarely be precipitated by sepsis, and fever is not part of DKA Reference: 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body's cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the energy our cells need to function. People with diabetes can't get glucose into their cells, so their bodies look for alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, and by the time DKA occurs, blood glucose levels are often greater than 22 mmol/L (400 mg/dL) while insulin levels are very low. Since glucose isn't available for cells to use, fat from fat cells is broken down for energy instead, releasing ketones. Ketones accumulate in the blood, causing it to become more acidic. As a result, many of the enzymes that control the body's metabolic processes aren't able Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

My dog is diabetic. He has been doing pretty well overall, but recently he became really ill. He stopped eating well, started drinking lots of water, and got really weak. His veterinarian said that he had a condition called “ketoacidosis,” and he had to spend several days in the hospital. I’m not sure I understand this disorder. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency that occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. The body can’t use glucose properly without insulin, so blood glucose levels get very high, and the body creates ketone bodies as an emergency fuel source. When these are broken down, it creates byproducts that cause the body’s acid/base balance to shift, and the body becomes more acidic (acidosis), and it can’t maintain appropriate fluid balance. The electrolyte (mineral) balance becomes disrupted which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and abnormal muscle function. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis is fatal. How could this disorder have happened? If a diabetic dog undergoes a stress event of some kind, the body secretes stress hormones that interfere with appropriate insulin activity. Examples of stress events that can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis include infection, inflammation, and heart disease. What are the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Excessive thirst/drinking Increased urination Lethargy Weakness Vomiting Increased respiratory rate Decreased appetite Weight loss (unplanned) with muscle wasting Dehydration Unkempt haircoat These same clinical signs can occur with other medical conditions, so it is important for your veterinarian to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to determine if diabetic ketoacidosis in truly the issue at hand Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis A Risk After Bariatric Surgery

Diabetic Ketoacidosis A Risk After Bariatric Surgery

Diabetic Ketoacidosis a Risk after Bariatric Surgery Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have found that while bariatric surgery is considered a safe and effective treatment for obesity and its comorbidities, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can occur in diabetic patients following weight-loss procedures. The findings were recently published in Diabetes Care. The investigators, led by Ali Aminian, MD, point out that the characteristics of DKA following bariatric surgery have not been explored, so they analyzed 12 patients who from January 2005 to December 2015 developed DKA within 90 days of surgery. Eight of these patients had type 1 diabetes (T1D), while four had type 2 diabetes (T2D), and three of them had a past history of DKA. Six patients had undergone laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, four underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and two had laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. One patient even developed two episodes of postoperative DKA. The authors also point out that eight of these patients had inadequate insulin therapy or were non-compliant, and three of these patients developed DKA before they were even discharged from the hospital following their weight-loss procedures, which they write could be explained by the combination of undertreatment with insulin and surgical stress. The median time between surgery and DKA was 12 days. Infection was a precipitating factor for the development of DKA in four (33%) patients, the authors write. Poor oral intake (for several days) could be a contributing factor in three (25%) patients. Aminian and his team note that this is the largest case series of this kind to date. Based on what they observed in this study, as well as the literature, they conclude that its not uncommon for patients with poorly controlled T1D Continue reading >>

Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis Sometimes Seen With Sglt2 Inhibitors

Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis Sometimes Seen With Sglt2 Inhibitors

Craig Cocchio, PharmD, BCPS, is an Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacist at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas. Follow on Twitter @iEMPharmD and on his blog at empharmd.blogspot.com Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in patients with presenting serum blood glucose <200 mg/dL isn’t common. More often, it’s seen in patients with type 1 diabetes in conjunction with starvation and acute illness.1 It’s difficult to determine an incidence of euglycemic DKA (euDKA) among all DKA cases in the literature, given the migration of the serum glucose cutoff from ≤300 mg/dL to ≤200 mg/dL. The best estimation based on an analysis of case reports suggests an incidence anywhere between 0.8% and 7.5%.1 However, the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin can apparently induce this once-rare form of DKA.2,3 SGLT2 inhibitors are a class of oral hypoglycemic drugs indicated only for type 2 diabetes. Their novel mechanism of action prevents glucose reabsorption from the proximal renal tubules, resulting in increased glucosuria and decreasing plasma glucose. SGLT2 inhibitors lower serum glucose and HBA1C levels, and even produce weight loss. However, the increased glucose concentration in the bladder is a terrific incubation environment for fungi and bacteria, so much so that the FDA stuck a post-marketing warning on the drug class for the increased risk of serious urinary tract infections and urosepsis, in addition to euglycemic DKA. The proposed mechanism suggests that while SGLT2 inhibitors lower serum glucose, they also reduce insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells in a negative feedback fashion. The lower serum insulin coupled with lower serum glucose consequently shifts energy metabolism to antilipolytic act Continue reading >>

Ketoacidosis During A Low-carbohydrate Diet

Ketoacidosis During A Low-carbohydrate Diet

To the Editor: It is believed that low-carbohydrate diets work best in reducing weight when producing ketosis.1 We report on a 51-year-old white woman who does not have diabetes but had ketoacidosis while consuming a “no-carbohydrate” diet. There was no family history of diabetes, and she was not currently taking any medications. While adhering to a regimen of carbohydrate restriction, she reached a stable weight of 59.1 kg, a decrease from 72.7 kg. After several months of stable weight, she was admitted to the hospital four times with vomiting but without abdominal pain. On each occasion, she reported no alcohol use. Her body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) was 26.7 before the weight loss and 21.7 afterward. Laboratory evaluation showed anion-gap acidosis, ketonuria, and elevated plasma glucose concentrations on three of the four occasions (Table 1). She had normal concentrations of plasma lactate and glycosylated hemoglobin. Screening for drugs, including ethyl alcohol and ethylene glycol, was negative. Abdominal ultrasonography showed hepatic steatosis. On each occasion, the patient recovered after administration of intravenous fluids and insulin, was prescribed insulin injections on discharge, and gradually reduced the use of insulin and then discontinued it while remaining euglycemic for six months or more between episodes. Testing for antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase and antinuclear antibodies was negative. Values on lipid studies were as follows: serum triglycerides, 102 mg per deciliter; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, 50 mg per deciliter; and calculated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, 189 mg per deciliter. The patient strictly adhered to a low-carbohydrate diet for four Continue reading >>

Unexplained Sudden Weight Loss, Constant Hunger, And Fatigue

Unexplained Sudden Weight Loss, Constant Hunger, And Fatigue

SHARE RATE★★★★★ Sudden unexplained weight loss is a classic symptom of type 1 diabetes, resulting from insulin deficiency, with a loss of the hormonal action of insulin in inhibiting the breakdown of protein in the body. In type 1 diabetes, weight loss may take the form of muscle wasting and a loss of muscular strength, especially as it occurs in young men. Weight loss in type 1 diabetes may also be accompanied by extreme, constant hunger (polyphagia), as well as fatigue, as the body lacks the ability to use glucose. Additionally, fatigue or lethargy may also be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.1 Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous short-term complication of diabetes. It results when chemicals called ketones accumulate in the blood. Because a person with diabetes is unable to use glucose for energy, if they are not being treated properly, their body may burn fat instead to get energy. Burning fat causes the production of ketones, which can be toxic if they build up in the blood. In addition to fatigue or lethargy, weight loss, extreme thirst, frequent urination, stomach ache and nausea, and difficulty thinking clear are signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis. In extreme cases, ketoacidosis can cause a person to go into a coma. So, this complication should be treated as a medical emergency. If you experience any of the symptoms ketoacidosis, you should consult your healthcare provider.2,3 Learn more about diabetic ketoacidosis Sudden weight loss is also less frequently a sign of type 2 diabetes. However, its mechanism is entirely different compared with weight loss associated with type 1 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, weight loss may result from dietary restriction on the part of an individual who senses a health problem and deliberately attempts to change eating ha Continue reading >>

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