What Is The Origin/mechanism Of Abdominal Pain In Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Other than all papers I could find citing the depth of the keto-acidosis (and not the height of the blood glucose levels) correlating with abdominal pain, nothing else to explain how these two are linked. Decades ago, I was taught that because of the keto-acidosis causing a shift of intracellular potassium (having been exchanged for H+ protons of which in keto-acidosis there were too many of in the extracellular fluid) to the extracellular, so also the blood compartment, resulting in hyperkalemia, paralyzing the stomach, which could become grossly dilated - that’s why we often put in a nasogastric drainage tube to prevent vomiting and aspiration - and thus cause “stomach pain”. This stomach pain in the majority of cases indeed went away after the keto-acidosis was treated and serum electrolyte levels normalized. In one patient it didn’t, she remained very, very metabolically acidotic, while blood glucose levels normalized, later we found her to have a massive and fatal intestinal infarction as the underlying reason for her keto-acidosis….. Continue reading >>