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How Do You Diagnose Ketoacidosis?

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic ketoacidosis is a metabolic complication of alcohol use and starvation characterized by hyperketonemia and anion gap metabolic acidosis without significant hyperglycemia. Alcoholic ketoacidosis causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Diagnosis is by history and findings of ketoacidosis without hyperglycemia. Treatment is IV saline solution and dextrose infusion. Alcoholic ketoacidosis is attributed to the combined effects of alcohol and starvation on glucose metabolism. Alcohol diminishes hepatic gluconeogenesis and leads to decreased insulin secretion, increased lipolysis, impaired fatty acid oxidation, and subsequent ketogenesis, causing an elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis. Counter-regulatory hormones are increased and may further inhibit insulin secretion. Plasma glucose levels are usually low or normal, but mild hyperglycemia sometimes occurs. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion; similar symptoms in an alcoholic patient may result from acute pancreatitis, methanol or ethylene glycol poisoning, or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In patients suspected of having alcoholic ketoacidosis, serum electrolytes (including magnesium), BUN and creatinine, glucose, ketones, amylase, lipase, and plasma osmolality should be measured. Urine should be tested for ketones. Patients who appear significantly ill and those with positive ketones should have arterial blood gas and serum lactate measurement. The absence of hyperglycemia makes DKA improbable. Those with mild hyperglycemia may have underlying diabetes mellitus, which may be recognized by elevated levels of glycosylated Hb (HbA1c). Typical laboratory findings include a high anion gap metabolic acidosis, ketonemia, and low levels of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Detection of acidosis may be com Continue reading >>

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State

Go to: Pathogenesis In both DKA and HHS, the underlying metabolic abnormality results from the combination of absolute or relative insulin deficiency and increased amounts of counterregulatory hormones. Glucose and lipid metabolism When insulin is deficient, the elevated levels of glucagon, catecholamines and cortisol will stimulate hepatic glucose production through increased glycogenolysis and enhanced gluconeogenesis4 (Fig. 1). Hypercortisolemia will result in increased proteolysis, thus providing amino acid precursors for gluconeogenesis. Low insulin and high catecholamine concentrations will reduce glucose uptake by peripheral tissues. The combination of elevated hepatic glucose production and decreased peripheral glucose use is the main pathogenic disturbance responsible for hyperglycemia in DKA and HHS. The hyperglycemia will lead to glycosuria, osmotic diuresis and dehydration. This will be associated with decreased kidney perfusion, particularly in HHS, that will result in decreased glucose clearance by the kidney and thus further exacerbation of the hyperglycemia. In DKA, the low insulin levels combined with increased levels of catecholamines, cortisol and growth hormone will activate hormone-sensitive lipase, which will cause the breakdown of triglycerides and release of free fatty acids. The free fatty acids are taken up by the liver and converted to ketone bodies that are released into the circulation. The process of ketogenesis is stimulated by the increase in glucagon levels.5 This hormone will activate carnitine palmitoyltransferase I, an enzyme that allows free fatty acids in the form of coenzyme A to cross mitochondrial membranes after their esterification into carnitine. On the other side, esterification is reversed by carnitine palmitoyltransferase I Continue reading >>

Failure To Diagnose: Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Failure To Diagnose: Diabetic Ketoacidosis

A recent coronial inquest examined the death of a patient, 17 years of age, from fulminant diabetic ketoacidosis.1 The patient’s presentation with diabetic ketoacidosis was the first manifestation of the onset of type 1 diabetes. This article examines the Coroner’s findings and recommendations. Download the PDF for the full article. Correspondence [email protected] Continue reading >>

Original Article The Value Of Venous Blood Gas Analysis In The Diagnosis Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Original Article The Value Of Venous Blood Gas Analysis In The Diagnosis Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Abstract Newer blood gas analyzers have the ability to report electrolyte values and glucose in addition to pH, so this diagnostic process could be condensed in diagnosing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). We aimed to assess the accuracy of the venous blood gas (VBG) analysis with electrolytes for diagnosing DKA. This study prospectively identified a convenience sample of (60 patients) presented with DKA and tested their VBG and serum electrolytes. The diagnosis of DKA was made according to American Diabetes Association criteria. Serum chemistry electrolyte values were considered to be the criterion standard. Sensitivity and specificity of VBG electrolytes results were compared against this standard. In addition, correlation coefficients for individual electrolytes between VBG electrolytes and laboratory chemistry electrolytes were calculated. Paired VBG and serum chemistry panels were available for 60 patients, only 49 patients were included, In this study; 20% of cases were newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus. The total number of diabetic ketoacidosis was 14 patients (28.5%). The sensitivity and specificity of the VBG and electrolytes for diagnosing DKA was 92.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 89% to 99%) and 97.1% (95% CI = 92% to 100%), respectively. Correlation coefficients between VBG and serum chemistry were 0.91, 0.47, 0.61, 0.65, and 0.58 for blood sugar, sodium, potassium, chloride, and creatinine respectively. Findings of this study offer preliminary support for the possibility of using VBG sample rather than VBG sample and serum chemistry electrolytes together to rule out diabetic ketoacidosis. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from dehydration during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar level and organic acids called ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body's chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in any person with diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before age 25 years, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in this age group, but it may occur at any age. Males and females are equally affected. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. As the body produces a stress response, hormones (unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency) begin to break down muscle, fat, and liver cells into glucose (sugar) and fatty acids for use as fuel. These hormones include glucagon, growth hormone, and adrenaline. These fatty acids are converted to ketones by a process called oxidation. The body consumes its own muscle, fat, and liver cells for fuel. In diabetic ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). The resulting increase in blood sugar occurs, because insulin is unavailable to transport sugar into cells for future use. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. Commonly, about 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. Significant loss of potassium and other salts in the excessive urination is also common. The most common Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy because there is not enough insulin. When the sugar cannot get into the cells, it stays in the blood. The kidneys filter some of the sugar from the blood and remove it from the body through urine. Because the cells cannot receive sugar for energy, the body begins to break down fat and muscle for energy. When this happens, ketones, or fatty acids, are produced and enter the bloodstream, causing the chemical imbalance (metabolic acidosis) called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can be caused by not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection or other illness, becoming severely dehydrated, or some combination of these things. It can occur in people who have little or no insulin in their bodies (mostly people with type 1 diabetes but it can happen with type 2 diabetes, especially children) when their blood sugar levels are high. Your blood sugar may be quite high before you notice symptoms, which include: Flushed, hot, dry skin. Feeling thirsty and urinating a lot. Drowsiness or difficulty waking up. Young children may lack interest in their normal activities. Rapid, deep breathing. A strong, fruity breath odor. Loss of appetite, belly pain, and vomiting. Confusion. Laboratory tests, including blood and urine tests, are used to confirm a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis. Tests for ketones are available for home use. Keep some test strips nearby in case your blood sugar level becomes high. When ketoacidosis is severe, it must be treated in the hospital, often in an intensive care unit. Treatment involves giving insulin and fluids through your vein and closely watching certain chemicals in your blood (electrolyt Continue reading >>

Lab Values And Dka

Lab Values And Dka

Changes in laboratory values often give us clues to what is happening with our patients. I came across the following resource this morning and thought it was worth sharing. Here’s a handy table to help you identify diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The following equation can be used to calculate an anion gap: Anion gap = Na+(mEq/L) – [Cl-(mEq/L) + HCO3-(mEq/L)] You have an important role when caring for a patient with DKA. Thorough physical assessments, careful monitoring of laboratory values, and critical thinking are essential to avoid complications of this complex disorder. Have you cared for a patient with DKA? What are the common presenting signs and symptoms? Reference Donahey, E., Folse, S., Weant, K. (2012). Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 34(3). Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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 >>

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 Emergencies-diagnosis And Clinical Management: Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults, Part 2

Diabetic Emergencies-diagnosis And Clinical Management: Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults, Part 2

Hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia in DKA is the result of reduced glucose uptake and utilization from the liver, muscle, and fat tissue and increased gluconeogenesis as well as glycogenolysis. The lack of insulin results in an increase in gluconeogenesis, primarily in the liver but also in the kidney, and increased glycogenolysis in liver and muscle.8,9 In addition, the inhibitory effect of insulin on glucagon secretion is abolished and plasma glucagon levels increase. The increase of glucagon aggravates hyperglycemia by enhancing gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. In parallel, the increased concentrations of the other counter-regulatory hormones enhance further gluconeogenesis. In addition to increased gluconeogenesis, in DKA there is excess production of substances which are used as a substrate for endogenous glucose production. Thus, the amino acids glutamine and alanine increase because of enhanced proteolysis and reduced protein synthesis.8,9 Hyperglycemia-induced osmotic diuresis leads to dehydration, hyperosmolality, electrolyte loss (Na+, K +, Mg 2 +, PO 4 3+, Cl−, and Ca+), and eventually decline in glomerular filtration rate. With decline in renal function, glucosuria diminishes and hyperglycemia worsens. Dehydration results in augmentation of plasma osmolality, which results in water movement out of the cells to the extracellular space. Osmotic diuresis caused by hyperglycemia results in loss of sodium in urine; in addition, the excess of glucagon aggravates hyponatremia because it inhibits reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys. With impaired insulin action and hyperosmolality, utilization of potassium by skeletal muscles is markedly decreased leading to intracellular potassium deficiency. Potassium is also lost due to osmotic diuresis. In addition, metabolic ac Continue reading >>

Reduced Prevalence Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis At Diagnosis Of Type 1 Diabetes In Young Children Participating In Longitudinal Follow-up

Reduced Prevalence Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis At Diagnosis Of Type 1 Diabetes In Young Children Participating In Longitudinal Follow-up

OBJECTIVE Young children have an unacceptably high prevalence of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at the clinical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine whether knowledge of genetic risk and close follow-up for development of islet autoantibodies through participation in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study results in lower prevalence of DKA at diabetes onset in children aged <2 and <5 years compared with population-based incidence studies and registries. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Symptoms and laboratory data collected on TEDDY participants diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 2004 and 2010 were compared with data collected during the similar periods from studies and registries in all TEDDY-participating countries (U.S., SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study; Sweden, Swediabkids; Finland, Finnish Pediatric Diabetes Register; and Germany, Diabetes Patienten Verlaufsdokumenation [DPV] Register). RESULTS A total of 40 children younger than age 2 years and 79 children younger than age 5 years were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in TEDDY as of December 2010. In children <2 years of age at onset, DKA prevalence in TEDDY participants was significantly lower than in all comparative registries (German DPV Register, P < 0.0001; Swediabkids, P = 0.02; SEARCH, P < 0.0001; Finnish Register, P < 0.0001). The prevalence of DKA in TEDDY children diagnosed at <5 years of age (13.1%) was significantly lower compared with SEARCH (36.4%) (P < 0.0001) and the German DPV Register (32.2%) (P < 0.0001) but not compared with Swediabkids or the Finnish Register. CONCLUSIONS Participation in the TEDDY study is associated with reduced risk of DKA at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in young children. Recent epidemiological studies indicate tha Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State In Adults: Clinical Features, Evaluation, And Diagnosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State In Adults: Clinical Features, Evaluation, And Diagnosis

INTRODUCTION Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS, also known as hyperosmotic hyperglycemic nonketotic state [HHNK]) are two of the most serious acute complications of diabetes. DKA is characterized by ketoacidosis and hyperglycemia, while HHS usually has more severe hyperglycemia but no ketoacidosis (table 1). Each represents an extreme in the spectrum of hyperglycemia. The precipitating factors, clinical features, evaluation, and diagnosis of DKA and HHS in adults will be reviewed here. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of these disorders are discussed separately. DKA in children is also reviewed separately. (See "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis".) Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Workup

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Workup

Approach Considerations Diabetic ketoacidosis is typically characterized by hyperglycemia over 250 mg/dL, a bicarbonate level less than 18 mEq/L, and a pH less than 7.30, with ketonemia and ketonuria. While definitions vary, mild DKA can be categorized by a pH level of 7.25-7.3 and a serum bicarbonate level between 15-18 mEq/L; moderate DKA can be categorized by a pH between 7.0-7.24 and a serum bicarbonate level of 10 to less than 15 mEq/L; and severe DKA has a pH less than 7.0 and bicarbonate less than 10 mEq/L. [17] In mild DKA, anion gap is greater than 10 and in moderate or severe DKA the anion gap is greater than 12. These figures differentiate DKA from HHS where blood glucose is greater than 600 mg/dL but pH is greater than 7.3 and serum bicarbonate greater than 15 mEq/L. Laboratory studies for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) should be scheduled as follows: Repeat laboratory tests are critical, including potassium, glucose, electrolytes, and, if necessary, phosphorus. Initial workup should include aggressive volume, glucose, and electrolyte management. It is important to be aware that high serum glucose levels may lead to dilutional hyponatremia; high triglyceride levels may lead to factitious low glucose levels; and high levels of ketone bodies may lead to factitious elevation of creatinine levels. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Abbas E. Kitabchi, PhD., MD., FACP, FACE Professor of Medicine & Molecular Sciences and Maston K. Callison Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism UT Health Science Center, 920 Madison Ave., 300A, Memphis, TN 38163 Aidar R. Gosmanov, M.D., Ph.D., D.M.Sc. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 920 Madison Avenue, Suite 300A, Memphis, TN 38163 Clinical Recognition Omission of insulin and infection are the two most common precipitants of DKA. Non-compliance may account for up to 44% of DKA presentations; while infection is less frequently observed in DKA patients. Acute medical illnesses involving the cardiovascular system (myocardial infarction, stroke, acute thrombosis) and gastrointestinal tract (bleeding, pancreatitis), diseases of endocrine axis (acromegaly, Cushing`s syndrome, hyperthyroidism) and impaired thermo-regulation or recent surgical procedures can contribute to the development of DKA by causing dehydration, increase in insulin counter-regulatory hormones, and worsening of peripheral insulin resistance. Medications such as diuretics, beta-blockers, corticosteroids, second-generation anti-psychotics, and/or anti-convulsants may affect carbohydrate metabolism and volume status and, therefore, could precipitateDKA. Other factors: psychological problems, eating disorders, insulin pump malfunction, and drug abuse. It is now recognized that new onset T2DM can manifest with DKA. These patients are obese, mostly African Americans or Hispanics and have undiagnosed hyperglycemia, impaired insulin secretion, and insulin action. A recent report suggests that cocaine abuse is an independent risk factor associated with DKA recurrence. Pathophysiology In 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 >>

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