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How Do You Prevent Ketoacidosis?

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

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. Blurred vision. 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. How is DKA diagnosed? 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 Continue reading >>

Ketosis: Fear, Uncertainty And Doubt

Ketosis: Fear, Uncertainty And Doubt

Perhaps nothing is more damaging to the new low-carber than the intentional spread of fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding the state of ketosis compared to the dangerous state of ketoacidosis. The former is a natural and healthy state of existence, the latter is a condition that threatens the life of type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics whose disease has progressed to the point where their pancreatic beta cells can no longer produce insulin (ketoacidosis is also a risk for alcoholics). So if you’re not an alcoholic, a type 1 diabetic or a late-stage type 2 diabetic, fear of ketosis is misdirected. You should regard with suspicion anyone who confuses the two and warns you against a low-carb diet because they cannot tell the difference. The confusion between ketosis and ketoacidosis is a sign of a grave misunderstanding of basic biology (if not a complete lack of critical faculty). So too is the assumption that ketosis is the “early stage” of ketoacidosis or that “ketosis leads to ketoacidosis” in a person whose pancreas is still able to produce insulin. If you don’t trust me (and why should you), you should consider listening to some people who know a lot more about this than either you or I ever will: Nutritional ketosis is by definition a benign metabolic state… by contrast, ‘diabetic ketoacidosis’ is an unstable and dangerous condition that occurs when there is inadequate pancreatic insulin response to regulate serum B-OHB. This occurs only in type-1 diabetics or in late stage type-2 diabetics with advanced pancreatic burnout. (Dr. Phinney & Dr. Volek, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, p.4) Later in the book (p.80), Phinney and Volek explain further: [Type-1 diabetics] need insulin injections not just to control blood glucose levels, Continue reading >>

How To Treat Ketoacidosis

How To Treat Ketoacidosis

Immediately drink a large amount of non-caloric or low caloric fluid. Continue to drink 8 to 12 oz. every 30 minutes. Diluted Gatorade, water with Nu-Salt™ and similar fluids are good because they help restore potassium lost because of high blood sugars. Take larger-than-normal correction boluses every 3 hours until the blood sugar is below 200 mg/dl (11 mmol) and ketones are negative. It will take much more rapid insulin than normal to bring blood sugars down when ketones are present in the urine or blood. Often, one and a half to two times the normal insulin dose for a high blood sugar will be necessary. Higher insulin doses than these will be needed if there is an infection or other major stress. If nausea becomes severe or last 4 hours or more, call your physician. If vomiting starts or you can no longer drink fluids, have a friend or family member call your physician immediately, then go directly to an emergency room for treatment. Never omit your insulin, even if you cannot eat. A reduced insulin dose might be needed, but only if your blood sugar is currently low. When high blood sugars or ketoacidosis happen, it is critical that you drink lots of fluid to prevent dehydration. Take extra amounts of Humalog, Novolog or Regular insulin to bring the blood sugars down. Children with severe ketoacidosis lose 10-15 % of their previous body weight (i.e., a 60 lb. child can lose 6 to 9 lbs. of weight) due to severe dehydration. Replacement of fluids should be monitored carefully. The dehydration is caused by excess urination due to high blood sugars and is quickly worsened when vomiting starts due to the ketoacidosis. The start of vomiting requires immediate attention at an ER or hospital where IV fluid replacement can begin. If only nausea is present and it is possible Continue reading >>

> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a sugar that comes from foods, and is formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to each through the bloodstream. But even though we need glucose for energy, too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes — it happens when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells to be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. If it's not treated, hyperglycemia can cause serious health problems. Too much sugar in the bloodstream for long periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. And, too much sugar in the bloodstream can cause other types of damage to body tissues, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, they can happen in adulthood in some people, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Blood sugar levels are considered high when they're above someone's target range. The diabetes health care team will let you know what your child's target blood sugar levels are, which will vary based on factors like your child's age. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible. It's a three-way balancing act of: diabetes medicines (such as in 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 >>

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis When looking at a ketogenic diet and ketosis, it’s common for some people to confuse the process with a harmful, more extreme version of this state known as diabetic ketoacidosis. But there are a lot of misconceptions out there about ketosis vs ketoacidosis, and it’s time to shed some light on the subject by looking at the (very big) differences between the two. An Overview of Ketosis A ketogenic, or keto, diet is centered around the process of ketosis, so it’s important to understand exactly what ketosis is first before we get into whether or not it’s safe (spoiler: it is): Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the default function of the body, so if glucose is available, the body will use that first. But during ketosis, the body is using ketones instead of glucose. This is an amazing survival adaptation by the body for handling periods of famine or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything else that leaves the body without enough glucose for fuel. Those eating a ketogenic diet purposely limit their carb intake (usually between 20 and 50 grams per day) to facilitate this response. That’s why the keto diet focuses on very low carb intake, moderate to low protein intake, and high intakes of dietary fats. Lower protein is important because it prevents the body from pulling your lean muscle mass for energy and instead turns to fat. Ketone bodies are released during ketosis and are created by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are then used by the body to power all of its biggest organs, including the brain, and they have many benefits for the body we’ll get into later. But first, let’s address a common mi Continue reading >>

What Is Dka?

What Is Dka?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication from diabetes that can be serious and life-threatening. DKA is often a common factor when first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but also can occur during management of the disease. When the body is not receiving enough insulin to break down glucose, it forces the body to start breaking down fat as fuel. Ketones are then released into the body. Dangers of DKA DKA can lead to coma, or even death if the level of ketones in the body are high enough. Causes can include: Lack of insulin Consistent high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) Lack of food in the system due to illness/nausea Overnight low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) Infection Dehydration Symptoms & Warning signs of DKA: Early symptoms High levels of ketones in urine Very high blood glucose levels Frequent urination Extreme thirst More extreme warning signs Constant fatigue Flushed skin Nausea or stomach pain Vomiting Shortness of breath Fruity smell on the breath Disorientation How to test for ketones Ketone strips (urinalysis) can be purchased at any pharmacy. Follow the directions given in the instructions insert, and match the result on the stick with the accompanying color chart. When to test for ketones If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above If you have a flu or any other kind of virus (recommended to test every 4 to 6 hours) If your blood glucose levels are consistently higher than 240 mg/dl (13 mmol/L) When to see a doctor If urinalysis test shows high levels of ketones, or if you experience any extreme symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. How to prevent DKA DKA is prominent when you are ill, due to factors such as stress hormones and dehydration. To avoid going into DKA be sure to take precautions such as: Drinking lots of water Take the appr Continue reading >>

How To Treat Diabetic Ketoacidosis

How To Treat Diabetic Ketoacidosis

1 Call emergency services. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be a life-threatening condition. If you are experiencing symptoms like your blood sugar not lowering, you should immediately call emergency services or visit the emergency room.[2] Symptoms that require you to call emergency services include severe nausea, being nauseous for four or more hours, vomiting, being unable to keep fluids down, inability to get your blood sugar levels down, or high levels of ketones in your urine.[3] Leaving DKA untreated can lead to irreparable damage and even death. It is important to seek medical care as soon as you suspect you are having a problem. 2 Stay in the hospital. Ketoacidosis is usually treated in the hospital. You may be admitted to a regular room or treated in ICU depending on the severity of your symptoms. During the first hours you are there, the doctors will work on getting your fluids and electrolytes balanced, then they will focus on other symptoms. Most of the time, patients remain in the hospital until they are ready to return to their normal insulin regimen.[4] The doctor will monitor you for any other conditions that may cause complications, like infection, heart attack, brain problems, sepsis, or blood clots in deep veins. 3 Increase your fluid intake. One of the first things that will be done to treat your diabetic ketoacidosis is to replace fluids. This can be in the hospital, a doctor’s office, or home. If you are receiving medical care, they will give you an IV. At home, you can drink fluids by mouth.[6] Fluids are lost through frequent urination and must be replaced. Replacing fluids helps balance out the sugar levels in your blood. 4 Replace your electrolytes. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, are important to keep your body functioning p 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 >>

Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis: What You Should Know

Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis: What You Should Know

Despite the similarity in name, ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things. Ketoacidosis refers to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and is a complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus. It’s a life-threatening condition resulting from dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar. This combination makes your blood too acidic, which can change the normal functioning of internal organs like your liver and kidneys. It’s critical that you get prompt treatment. DKA can occur very quickly. It may develop in less than 24 hours. It mostly occurs in people with type 1 diabetes whose bodies do not produce any insulin. Several things can lead to DKA, including illness, improper diet, or not taking an adequate dose of insulin. DKA can also occur in individuals with type 2 diabetes who have little or no insulin production. Ketosis is the presence of ketones. It’s not harmful. You can be in ketosis if you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet or fasting, or if you’ve consumed too much alcohol. If you have ketosis, you have a higher than usual level of ketones in your blood or urine, but not high enough to cause acidosis. Ketones are a chemical your body produces when it burns stored fat. Some people choose a low-carb diet to help with weight loss. While there is some controversy over their safety, low-carb diets are generally fine. Talk to your doctor before beginning any extreme diet plan. DKA is the leading cause of death in people under 24 years old who have diabetes. The overall death rate for ketoacidosis is 2 to 5 percent. People under the age of 30 make up 36 percent of DKA cases. Twenty-seven percent of people with DKA are between the ages of 30 and 50, 23 percent are between the ages of 51 and 70, and 14 percent are over the age of 70. Ketosis may cause bad breath. Ket Continue reading >>

Prevention Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Self-monitoring Of Ketone Bodies: An Overview.

Prevention Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Self-monitoring Of Ketone Bodies: An Overview.

Abstract OBJECTIVE: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Self-monitoring of ketone bodies by diabetes patients can be done using blood or urine. We compared the two self-monitoring methods and summarized recent developments in the epidemiology and management of DKA. METHODS: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for relevant publications addressing the epidemiology, management and prevention of DKA up to 2009. The current, relevant publications, along with the authors' clinical and professional experience, were used to synthesize this narrative review. FINDINGS: Despite considerable advances in diabetes therapy, key epidemiological figures related to DKA remained nearly unchanged during the last decades at a global level. Prevention of DKA - especially in sick day management - relies on intensive self-monitoring of blood glucose and subsequent, appropriate therapy adjustments. Self-monitoring of ketone bodies during hyperglycemia can provide important, complementary information on the metabolic state. Both methods for self-monitoring of ketone bodies at home are clinically reliable and there is no published evidence favoring one method with respect to DKA prevention. CONCLUSIONS: DKA is still a severe complication potentially arising during prolonged hyperglycemic episodes with possibly fatal consequences. Education of patients and their social environment to promote frequent testing - especially during sick days - and to lower their glucose levels, as well as to recognize the early symptoms of hyperglycemia and DKA is of paramount importance in preventing the development of severe DKA. Both methods for self-monitoring of ketone bodies are safe and clinically reliable. Continue reading >>

The Paleo Guide To Ketosis

The Paleo Guide To Ketosis

Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, 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 >>

Tips To Prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Tips To Prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Prevention of another episode of diabetic ketoacidosis is an important part of the treatment of DKA. Most patients after treatment of DKA need lifetime insulin therapy. Some strategies for the prevention of DKA include: Taking medications: Taking insulin for blood sugar control as advised by the doctor is important to maintain blood sugar within the target range. If your blood sugar readings become normal, do not stop taking your medications. Take all your insulin doses regularly and do not make changes without consulting your doctor. Blood glucose monitoring: Your doctor will advise you regarding glucose monitoring at home if you are on insulin therapy to maintain blood sugar levels. All the blood sugar values with date and time after meal should be recorded. This record can help your doctor determine if your treatment plan (diet and insulin) is enough to maintain your blood sugar levels. Your doctor can teach you to monitor blood glucose with a glucose meter using a drop of your blood. You may need to do the test several times (before and after meals) in a day. In addition to frequent blood sugar monitoring, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) gives a good indication about long term blood sugar level control in diabetic patients. Your aim should be to maintain blood sugar and ensure that the HbA1c levels are normal as possible. Sick-day management: Control of blood sugar within target range is important to prevent complications of diabetes including DKA. After you are diagnosed with diabetes, ask your doctor for specific instructions in terms of the doses for medication (s) and monitoring of blood sugar and urinary ketone level whenever you become ill. When you are sick, eat easily digestible liquid diets and consult your doctor to know more on what to eat when you are si Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Pregnancy

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Pregnancy

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious metabolic complication of diabetes with high mortality if undetected. Its occurrence in pregnancy compromises both the fetus and the mother profoundly. Although predictably more common in patients with type 1 diabetes, it has been recognised in those with type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes, especially with the use of corticosteroids for fetal lung maturity and β2-agonists for tocolysis.1–3 Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in the second and third trimesters because of increased insulin resistance, and is also seen in newly presenting type 1 diabetes patients. With increasing practice of antepartum diabetes screening and the availability of early and frequent prenatal care/surveillance, the incidence and outcomes of diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy have vastly improved. However, it still remains a major clinical problem in pregnancy since it tends to occur at lower blood glucose levels and more rapidly than in non-pregnant patients often causing delay in the diagnosis. The purpose of this article is to illustrate a typical patient who may present with diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy and review the literature on this relatively uncommon condition and provide an insight into the pathophysiology and management. MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM In non-pregnant patients with type 1 diabetes, the incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis is about 1–5 episodes per 100 per year with mortality averaging 5%–10%.4 The incidence rates of diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy and the corresponding fetal mortality rates from different retrospective studies5–8 are summarised in the table 1. As is evident from the table, both the incidence and rates of fetal loss in pregnancies have fallen in recent times compared with those before. In 1963 Continue reading >>

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