The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Today, we’re excited to share with you another guest blog from Katie Janowiak, who works for the Medtronic Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm. When she first told me her story about food poisoning and Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), I knew others could benefit from hearing it as well. Thanks Katie for your openness and allowing us to share your scary story so that the LOOP community can learn from it. Throughout this past year, I’ve had the honor of sharing with you, the amazing LOOP community, my personal journey and the often humorous sequence of events that is my life with T1. Humor is, after all, the best (and cheapest) therapy. Allow me to pause today to share with you the down and dirty of what it feels like to have something that is not the slightest bit humorous: diabetic ketoacidosis.You are hot. You are freezing. You are confused. You are blacked out but coherent. You go to talk but words fail you. Time flies and goes in slow motion simultaneously. You will likely smell and look like death. In my instance, this was brought on by the combination of excessive vomiting and dehydration caused by food poisoning and the diabetic ketoacidosis that followed after my body had gone through so much. In hindsight, I was lucky, my husband knew that I had food poisoning because I began vomiting after our meal. But I had never prepped him on diabetic ketoacidosis and the symptoms (because DKA was for those other diabetics.) Upon finding me in our living room with a bowl of blood and bile by my side (no, I am not exaggerating), he got me into the car and took me to emergency care. It was 5:30 p.m. – and I thought it was 11:00 a.m. The series of events that led up to my stay in the ICU began innocently enough. It was a warm summer night and my husband and I walke Continue reading >>
Introduction Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin in the body. Diabetic ketoacidosis 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 by-product called ketones. Most cases of diabetic ketoacidosis occur in people with type 1 diabetes, although it can also be a complication of type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: passing large amounts of urine feeling very thirsty vomiting abdominal pain Seek immediate medical assistance if you have any of these symptoms and your blood sugar levels are high. Read more about the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. Who is affected by diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a relatively common complication in people with diabetes, particularly children and younger adults who have type 1 diabetes. Younger children under four years of age are thought to be most at risk. In about 1 in 4 cases, diabetic ketoacidosis develops in people who were previously unaware they had type 1 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis accounts for around half of all diabetes-related hospital admissions in people with type 1 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis triggers These include: infections and other illnesses not keeping up with recommended insulin injections Read more about potential causes of diabetic ketoacidosis. Diagnosing diabetic ketoacidosis This is a relatively straightforward process. Blood tests can be used to check your glucose levels and any chemical imbalances, such as low levels of potassium. Urine tests can be used to estimate the number of ketones in your body. Blood and urine tests can also be used to check for an underlying infec Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms
What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis, also referred to as simply ketoacidosis or DKA, is a serious and even life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes. DKA is rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA is caused when insulin levels are low and not enough glucose can get into the body's cells. Without glucose for energy, the body starts to burn fat for energy. Ketones are products that are created when the body burns fat. The buildup of ketones causes the blood to become more acidic. The high levels of blood glucose in DKA cause the kidneys to excrete glucose and water, leading to dehydration and imbalances in body electrolyte levels. Diabetic ketoacidosis most commonly develops either due to an interruption in insulin treatment or a severe illness, including the flu. What are the symptoms and signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The development of DKA is usually a slow process. However, if vomiting develops, the symptoms can progress more rapidly due to the more rapid loss of body fluid. Excessive urination, which occurs because the kidneys try to rid the body of excess glucose, and water is excreted along with the glucose High blood glucose (sugar) levels The presence of ketones in the urine Other signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis occur as the condition progresses: These include: Fatigue, which can be severe Flushing of the skin Fruity odor to the breath, caused by ketones Difficulty breathing Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication What should I do if I think I may have, or someone I know may diabetic ketoacidosis? You should test your urine for ketones if you suspect you have early symptoms or warning signs of ketoacidosis. Call your health-care professional if your urine shows high levels of ketones. High levels of ketones and high blood sug Continue reading >>
How Do I Reduce My Belly Fat?
This is going to be a long answer. Just hang on, all my rambles are always worth it in the end :) Why Is Tummy Fat More Difficult To Get Rid Off (For Men)? The “stubborn bellyy fat” is almost identical to “normal” fat. But it has one crucial difference. “Normal” white fat contains high amounts of beta-2-receptors and low amounts of alpha-2-receptors while stubborn fat contains low amounts of beta-2-receptors and high amounts of alpha-2-receptors. This is crucial because beta-2-receptors stimulate the breakdown of fat and increase the blood flow to fat tissue while alpha-2-receptors inhibit the breakdown of fat and decrease and blood flow to fat tissue. Basically; the ratio of alpha-2 to beta-2-receptors of a fat tissue depends whether it get’s burned off easily or difficult. Males usually have higher levels alpha-2-receptors in their fat tissue covering their abdominal region while females have high levels across their hip region. That’s why males have a harder time getting rid of their (last pounds) of belly fat. How Fat Loss Works Before we can take a look at how to lose stubborn belly fat, there is some crucial information you have to be aware of. Unfortunately, this stuff is almost never talked about (even not by the “weight loss guru’s” While fat loss themselves is a complex process, there are 3 phases in which it can be broken down. These are: 1. Breakdown The first thing that needs to happen is that fat tissue (triglycerides) should be getting released out of your fat cells. This is a very important step since if fat doesn’t get released out the fat cells (due to whatever reason) it can not be burned away. Whether or whether not fat get released out of their fat cells depends on a few hormones. By far the most important ones are insulin an Continue reading >>
Viewer Comments: Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms
I didn't know anything about diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) until I was admitted into the ICU. Learning about DKA now, I've had moderate DKA on and off for years. I thought my vomiting, stomach pain were the result of metformin and switched to Invokana. I experienced extreme weight loss and dehydration but thought these were normal (Invokana shown to help diabetics lose weight). I have been under extreme financial and emotional stress for the past few years as well. What I would want others to know is that it is difficult to identify DKA from medication side effects; until DKA is at the ICU level. I was given so much potassium and other electrolytes. Stress is also a huge factor for me. While in the ICU my ex-husband (knowing I was in the ICU) started more harassment. The nurses documented an over 100 jump in my blood sugar after a phone call to deal with the harassment. I've started tracking stress and my blood sugar. It is impossible to get control of my blood sugar during high stress. If I add more insulin, I have a dangerous crash later. Keeping a calm environment as much as I can helps. I have type 2 diabetes. I gave myself more than 300 shots. My doctor put me on metformin. This takes the place of insulin shots. There are three different doses. What made it for me was 850 mg per meal. I count my carbohydrates, 60 per meal, and take my pill. I have seen here, folks that have 200, 300, 695 mg/dl of glucose. It is tough to manage, but if you keep to it, you will do well. Check the bottoms of your feet daily. If you are ticklish, you are doing fine. Give up cakes, pies, ice cream and other things high in carbohydrates. If you do, you will be fine. By the way, my average glucose reading is less than 120. Set that as your goal. Have good days! I have been having really dif Continue reading >>
Does Diabetes Causes Excessive Hunger?
Yes. Diabetes mellitus causes excessive hunger, called polyphagia. This hunger does not go away with eating though. In diabetes, due to lack of insulin in the body or due to its ineffective absorption by cells, glucose is not taken up by the cells and remains in the blood. (Insulin causes uptake of glucose into cells.) Hence, glucose is not being utilized for energy. The feeling of hunger is a feedback response by the body to prompt you to consume food, so that you acquire more glucose and use it for energy. However, because, insulin is not present, this glucose, nevertheless, is not taken up into the cells. Polyphagia, polytypsia, and polyurea can all be present in un-diagnosed diabetes. They also occur when a person with diabetes (PWD) is having blood sugar swings or consistently high blood sugars. Now I want to clarify something here about what these things FEEL like. Polyphagia - I live in the US and starvation due to lack of food access is very rare. But I can say that I was literally starving for about 6 months prior to being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). And it was a hunger that hurt, ached, made me very irritable and sad. Getting food was my only thought - well that and sleeping because the huge amounts of food I was eating were not being converted in energy and therefore I was fatigued all the time. I would eat and eat and eat but without insulin, I lost weight. This hunger was dire. This is not a hunger from a one day fast or calorie restricted weight loss diet. This was 'my body is dying' hunger. I felt emotional panic thinking that I just could not get enough food. Polytypsia - You have never been this thirsty unless you have experienced it yourself. No amount of water or other beverage will quench your thirst. You drink and drink - rapidly, frequent Continue reading >>
Will Eating 2,000 Calories A Day Make Me Lose Weight?
If you are a short inactive woman, eating 2,000 calories a day will make you gain weight. If you are a tall inactive man, the same calories would make you lose weight. Calorie calculator - Mayo Clinic Most people do not want to simply lose weight, they want to keep the weight off. Unfortunately, this is a lot more complicated than counting calories. The long term benefits of dieting are not positive. I cover it in my post or keep reading: Eating Less? You May Not Lose Weight. Here's Why. The only thing that seems to consistently work long term for weight loss is bariatric surgery. "A recent systematic review examining the efficacy of major commercial and organized self-help weight loss programs in the United States concluded that the evidence to support the use of such programs was suboptimal, except for one trial on Weight Watchers. Furthermore, the programs were associated with high costs, attrition rates, and probability of regaining at least 50% of the lost weight in 1 to 2 years...Bariatric surgery generally is effective for sustained weight loss of about 16% for people with BMIs of at least 40 kg/m(2) or at least 35 kg/m(2) with comorbid conditions" Bariatric surgery: an evidence-based analysis. Even surgery is not enough to look like a magazine model (even with airbrushing). For those of us with a calculator, a five foot woman who weighs 200 pounds has a BMI high enough for surgery. That surgery will result in about 16% of her weight lost, or 32 pounds. She will still likely weigh 168 after having surgery done. For a 6 foot man, he'd need to weigh 300 pounds to qualify for surgery. After surgery, he'd get a 48 pound weight loss, and still weigh 252 pounds. (BTW, his resting caloric burning at 300 pounds was 3279 calories a day. So eating 2000 calories would be st Continue reading >>
You Get A Disease, That Makes Your Most Hated Food The Only Thing You Are Able To Eat, What Now?
This is Seitan, not Satan. But it might as well be. For anyone lucky enough to have never attempted to consume this demonic meat substitute, it’s a giant brick of wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is mostly protein, which has given Seitan a certain prominence in vegetarian circles. It is disgusting. The texture is abhorrent. The smell is ghastly. I am on a completely plant-based diet and I refuse to interact with this stuff with any of my five senses. So I would probably starve to death. Continue reading >>
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Symptoms And Detection Of Ketoacidosis
Symptoms These symptoms are due to the ketone poisoning and should never be ignored. As soon as a person begins to vomit or has difficulty breathing, immediate treatment in an emergency room is required to prevent coma and possible death. Early Signs, Symptoms: Late Signs, Symptoms: very tired and sleepy weakness great thirst frequent urination dry skin and tongue leg cramps fruity odor to the breath* upset stomach* nausea* vomiting* shortness of breath sunken eyeballs very high blood sugars rapid pulse rapid breathing low blood pressure unresponsiveness, coma * these are more specific for ketoacidosis than hyperosmolar syndrome Everyone with diabetes needs to know how to recognize and treat ketoacidosis. Ketones travel from the blood into the urine and can be detected in the urine with ketone test strips available at any pharmacy. Ketone strips should always be kept on hand, but stored in a dry area and replaced as soon as they become outdated. Measurement of Ketones in the urine is very important for diabetics with infections or on insulin pump therapy due to the fact it gives more information than glucose tests alone. Check the urine for ketones whenever a blood sugar reading is 300 mg/dl or higher, if a fruity odor is detected in the breath, if abdominal pain is present, if nausea or vomiting is occurring, or if you are breathing rapidly and short of breath. If a moderate or large amount of ketones are detected on the test strip, ketoacidosis is present and immediate treatment is required. Symptoms for hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome are linked to dehydration rather than acidosis, so a fruity odor to the breath and stomach upset are less likely. How To Detect Ketones During any illness, especially when it is severe and any time the stomach becomes upset, ketone 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 >>
What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a buildup of acids in your blood. It can happen when your blood sugar is too high for too long. It could be life-threatening, but it usually takes many hours to become that serious. You can treat it and prevent it, too. It usually happens because your body doesn't have enough insulin. Your cells can't use the sugar in your blood for energy, so they use fat for fuel instead. Burning fat makes acids called ketones and, if the process goes on for a while, they could build up in your blood. That excess can change the chemical balance of your blood and throw off your entire system. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for ketoacidosis, since their bodies don't make any insulin. Your ketones can also go up when you miss a meal, you're sick or stressed, or you have an insulin reaction. DKA can happen to people with type 2 diabetes, but it's rare. If you have type 2, especially when you're older, you're more likely to have a condition with some similar symptoms called HHNS (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome). It can lead to severe dehydration. Test your ketones when your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dL or you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as dry mouth, feeling really thirsty, or peeing a lot. You can check your levels with a urine test strip. Some glucose meters measure ketones, too. Try to bring your blood sugar down, and check your ketones again in 30 minutes. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if that doesn't work, if you have any of the symptoms below and your ketones aren't normal, or if you have more than one symptom. You've been throwing up for more than 2 hours. You feel queasy or your belly hurts. Your breath smells fruity. You're tired, confused, or woozy. You're having a hard time breathing. Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.
The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can occur in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. This causes harmful substances called ketones to build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly. DKA mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes occur in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the risk and know what to do if DKA occurs. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis Signs of DKA include: needing to pee more than usual being sick breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets or nail varnish) deep or fast breathing feeling very tired or sleepy passing out DKA can also cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine, which you can check for using home-testing kits. Symptoms usually develop over 24 hours, but can come on faster. Check your blood sugar and ketone levels Check your blood sugar level if you have symptoms of DKA. If your blood sugar is 11mmol/L or over and you have a blood or urine ketone testing kit, check your ketone level. If you do a blood ketone test: lower than 0.6mmol/L is a normal reading 0.6 to 1.5mmol/L means you're at a slightly increased risk of DKA and should test again in a couple of hours 1.6 to 2.9mmol/L means you're at an increased risk of DKA and should contact your diabetes team or GP as soon as possible 3mmol/L or over means you have a very high risk of DKA and should get medical help immediately If you do a urine ketone test, a result of more than 2+ means there's a high chance you have DKA. When to get medical help Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away if you think you have DKA, especially if you have a high level of ketones in Continue reading >>
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 >>
Fire In My Veins: A Story Of Ketoacidosis
I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 14 long years. During that time, I have had five episodes of ketoacidosis, two of which were brought on by emotional stress. The one that happened eight years ago, shortly after the meltdown of a serious relationship, lives vividly in my memory. Usually I jump out of bed to start the day, but when I woke up that morning, I felt like the bed was on top of me, the weight of my chest too heavy to sit up. My mouth felt full of cotton and my tongue was swollen and useless. I sat up on the edge of my bed and supported my wobbling weight with my arms stretched out at my sides. Suddenly, the heartburn was so strong that it felt like a volcanic eruption from the middle up my chest up to the back of my throat. I think I tasted blood. I needed water. As I stumbled slowly down the stairs to the kitchen, I remembered that the night before, I had gone to bed with my glucose level in the low 100s. I was so distraught about my recent breakup that I couldn’t eat any dinner, but had forced down a few peanuts and a slice of cheese to avoid the ketones that can develop after not eating for too long. I knew that my post-breakup emotions were getting the best of me mentally, but was surprised when the effects started coming at me physically as well. It felt like my veins were on fire. I drank nearly a gallon of water, and I could almost hear the flames sizzling as my veins cooled down. Have you ever had the illusion that you could feel every single vein under your skin? Now imagine that each vein has scorching lava coursing through it instead of blood. Even my skin felt too tight for my body. I wanted to believe that I could flush the ketones out of my system on my own by not eating any carbohydrates, drinking lots of water, and urinating as much as possible. Continue reading >>