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How Does Ketoacidosis Cause Hypotension

When Blood Pressure Is Too Low

When Blood Pressure Is Too Low

Talk around blood pressure typically centers on what to do if blood pressure is too high. We know that high blood pressure is more common in people with diabetes than people without diabetes. We also know that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends a blood pressure goal of less than 140/80 for most people with diabetes. But what if your blood pressure is too low? Is it cause for concern? And what do you do about it? Low blood pressure defined Low blood pressure is also known as “hypotension.” You might be thinking that low blood pressure is a good thing, especially if yours tends to run on the high side. But the reality is that low blood pressure can be a serious condition for some people. For people without diabetes, the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure of less than 120 over 80 (written as 120/80). Low blood pressure is generally defined as a blood pressure of less than 90/60. If your blood pressure tends to hover in that area without any symptoms, then there’s likely no cause for concern. But if symptoms occur, that’s a signal that something is amiss. Symptoms of low blood pressure Low blood pressure may be a sign that there’s an underlying medical condition, especially if your blood pressure drops suddenly or if you have the following symptoms: • Dizziness or lightheadedness • Fainting • Fast or irregular heartbeat • Feeling weak • Feeling confused • Lack of concentration • Blurred vision • Cold, clammy skin • Nausea • Rapid, shallow breathing • Depression • Dehydration That’s quite a list. Some of the above symptoms can occur if you have, say, the flu, a stomach bug, or have been outside for a long time in h Continue reading >>

How Does Diabetic Ketoacidosis Cause Vomiting?

How Does Diabetic Ketoacidosis Cause Vomiting?

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. 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 to function as well. A higher level of ketones also affects levels of sugar and electrolytes in the body. As ketones accumulate in the blood, more ketones will be passed in the urine, taking sodium and potassium salts out with them. Over time, levels of sodium and potassium salts in the body become depleted, which can cause nausea and vomiting. The result is a vicious cycle. The most important prevention strategies are to monitor blood glucose levels routinely, keep blood glucose levels controlled (e.g., Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

Blood sugar levels that are too high (hyperglycemia) can quickly turn into a diabetic emergency without quick and appropriate treatment. The best way to avoid dangerously high blood sugar levels is to self-test to stay in tune with your body, and to stay attuned to the symptoms and risk factors for hyperglycemia. Extremely high blood sugar levels can lead to one of two conditions—diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS; also called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma). Although both syndromes can occur in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, DKA is more common in type 1, and HHNS is more common in type 2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Ketoacidosis (or DKA) occurs when blood sugars become elevated (over 249 mg/dl, or 13.9 mmol/l) over a period of time and the body begins to burn fat for energy, resulting in ketone bodies in the blood or urine (a phenomenon called ketosis). A variety of factors can cause hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), including failure to take medication or insulin, stress, dietary changes without medication adjustments, eating disorders, and illness or injury. This last cause is important, because if illness brings on DKA, it may slip by unnoticed, since its symptoms can mimic the flu (aches, vomiting, etc.). In fact, people with type 1 diabetes are often seeking help for the flu-like symptoms of DKA when they first receive their diagnosis. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: fruity (acetone) breath nausea and/or vomiting abdominal pain dry, warm skin confusion fatigue breathing problems excessive thirst frequent urination in extreme cases, loss of consciousness DKA is a medical emergency, and requires prompt and immediate treatment. A simple over-the-counter urine dipstick test (e.g., Keto Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetes mellitus is the name given to a group of conditions whose common hallmark is a raised blood glucose concentration (hyperglycemia) due to an absolute or relative deficiency of the pancreatic hormone insulin. In the UK there are 1.4 million registered diabetic patients, approximately 3 % of the population. In addition, an estimated 1 million remain undiagnosed. It is a growing health problem: In 1998, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted a doubling of the worldwide prevalence of diabetes from 150 million to 300 million by 2025. For a very tiny minority, diabetes is a secondary feature of primary endocrine disease such as acromegaly (growth hormone excess) or Cushing’s syndrome (excess corticosteroid), and for these patients successful treatment of the primary disease cures diabetes. Most diabetic patients, however, are classified as suffering either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for around 15 % of the total diabetic population, is an autoimmune disease of the pancreas in which the insulin-producing β-cells of the pancreas are selectively destroyed, resulting in an absolute insulin deficiency. The condition arises in genetically susceptible individuals exposed to undefined environmental insult(s) (possibly viral infection) early in life. It usually becomes clinically evident and therefore diagnosed during late childhood, with peak incidence between 11 and 13 years of age, although the autoimmune-mediated β-cell destruction begins many years earlier. There is currently no cure and type 1 diabetics have an absolute life-long requirement for daily insulin injections to survive. Type 2 diabetes This is the most common form of diabetes: around 85 % of the diabetic population has type 2 diabetes. The primary prob Continue reading >>

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious metabolic disorder that can occur in animals with diabetes mellitus (DM).1,2 Veterinary technicians play an integral role in managing and treating patients with this life-threatening condition. In addition to recognizing the clinical signs of this disorder and evaluating the patient's response to therapy, technicians should understand how this disorder occurs. DM is caused by a relative or absolute lack of insulin production by the pancreatic b-cells or by inactivity or loss of insulin receptors, which are usually found on membranes of skeletal muscle, fat, and liver cells.1,3 In dogs and cats, DM is classified as either insulin-dependent (the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin) or non-insulin-dependent (the body produces insulin, but the tissues in the body are resistant to the insulin).4 Most dogs and cats that develop DKA have an insulin deficiency. Insulin has many functions, including the enhancement of glucose uptake by the cells for energy.1 Without insulin, the cells cannot access glucose, thereby causing them to undergo starvation.2 The unused glucose remains in the circulation, resulting in hyperglycemia. To provide cells with an alternative energy source, the body breaks down adipocytes, releasing free fatty acids (FFAs) into the bloodstream. The liver subsequently converts FFAs to triglycerides and ketone bodies. These ketone bodies (i.e., acetone, acetoacetic acid, b-hydroxybutyric acid) can be used as energy by the tissues when there is a lack of glucose or nutritional intake.1,2 The breakdown of fat, combined with the body's inability to use glucose, causes many pets with diabetes to present with weight loss, despite having a ravenous appetite. If diabetes is undiagnosed or uncontrolled, a series of metab Continue reading >>

Diabetes Update: Acute Complications

Diabetes Update: Acute Complications

"Diabetes update: Acute complications" CE credit is no longer available for this article. Originally posted April 2001 MARJORIE CYPRESS, MS, C-ANP, CDE MARJORIE CYPRESS is a nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator for Lovelace Health Systems, Albuquerque, N.M. Series Editor: Carolyn Robertson, RN, MSN, CDE KEY WORDS: acute complications, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, ketosis Critically high or low blood sugar in a patient with diabetes is a medical emergency. You'll need to be able to quickly identify and know how to manage the acute complications of diabetes to help a patient avoid a tragic outcome. Here's how. Jump to: Choose article section... Emergency treatment of acute complications of diabetes demands quick recognition of the problem and immediate intervention. High blood sugar can progress to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in Type 1 diabetics, and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) in those with Type 2. But every diabetic patient taking a hypoglycemic agent is at risk for hypoglycemia, the most common—and most feared—complication. Here we'll review the pathophysiology behind DKA, HHS, and hypoglycemia; provide assessments that help distinguish one complication from another; and discuss emergency treatments and nursing strategies that can prevent a potentially fatal outcome. Too much sugar, too little insulin DKA, often referred to as diabetic coma, occurs when there's a profound lack of insulin in the body. Without insulin, the body can't use glucose for fuel. Cells starve as sugar accumulates. The blood becomes thick with sugar, which promotes osmotic diuresis. As the body loses water, the excess sugar spills into the urine, taking important electrolytes with it. Patients become thirsty and Continue reading >>

Poisoning-related Hypotension

Poisoning-related Hypotension

Introduction Hypotension is a frequently encountered problem in patients with poisoning or drug overdose. Toxicological causes of hypotension are usually due to a drug’s or toxin’s ability to induce one or more of the following: decrease cardiac contractility; decrease peripheral vasculature resistance; decrease intravascular volume; or depress the central nervous system. Yet, determining the specific cause of hypotension is often complex as its medical differential is vast. While medications are commonly implicated as a direct cause of hypotension, a fall in blood pressure may be associated with other coexisting medical conditions. An understanding of the pharmacologic effects of drugs and knowledge of the patient’s underlying medical conditions are crucial for the effective management of hypotension. Hypotension is frequently seen in the overdose population. During 2004, hypotension was present in over 20% of all cases reported to poison centers across California. In 2003, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported 12,710 cases of hypotension associated with tricyclic antidepressant poisoning; 15,350 cases from beta-receptor antagonist poisoning; 9,650 cases from calcium antagonist poisoning; and 2,850 cases from cardiac glycoside intoxication. Case presentation A 46 year-old man with a history of diabetes, hypertension, and ethanol abuse was brought to the emergency department after being found with decreased responsiveness. He had become increasingly despondent after losing his job. His medications were unknown. His blood pressure was 85/62 mm Hg, and the heart rate was 55 beats/min. The blood glucose was elevated at 250 mg/dL without evidence of ketoacidosis. He had an ethanol level of 180 mg/dL. An electrocardiogram showed sinus brad 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 >>

Testicular Failure Following Severe Diabetic Ketoacidosis Complicated By Hypotensive Shock

Testicular Failure Following Severe Diabetic Ketoacidosis Complicated By Hypotensive Shock

Go to: Case Presentation A 14‐year‐old Caucasian boy with no significant past medical history presented to the emergency department when his mother was unable to wake him up. The family reported a 3 day history of flu‐like symptoms with polyuria and polydipsia but no vomiting. On exam, the patient was unresponsive but had no localizing neurological findings. Physical exam was remarkable for Kussmaul breathing, hypotension, and poor perfusion. Exam by the consulting endocrine team at presentation documented normal body mass index, no acanthosis, and sexual maturity staging of Tanner 4 for pubic hair with testicular volume of 15 mL bilaterally. The patient was diagnosed with severe DKA based on labs which showed pH 6.89, bicarbonate 4.5 mmol/L, blood glucose 1493 mg/dL, and ketonuria. He had acute renal failure with initial blood urea nitrogen (BUN) of 59 and serum creatinine 3.4 mg/dL. Fluid resuscitation and insulin infusion were initiated. The patient was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for further management. Additional labs drawn at presentation are shown in Table 2. While in the PICU, in spite of biochemical resolution of DKA, the patient had persistent hypotension and developed multi‐system organ failure. He had a normal serum cortisol level in response to a 1 mcg cosyntropin stimulation test performed on day 3 of admission (baseline 15 mcg/dL, t = 60 min 25 mcg/dL; 4–20 mcg/dL), and blood cultures drawn at presentation were negative. Brain imaging did not disclose cerebral edema. Management included mechanical ventilation, both conventional (for 10 days) and high‐frequency oscillatory (for 5 days), pressor therapy, and additional supportive care. After 25 days in the PICU, the patient improved and was discharged on multiple dail Continue reading >>

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially fatal metabolic disorder presenting most weeks in most accident and emergency (A&E) departments.1 The disorder can have significant mortality if misdiagnosed or mistreated. Numerous management strategies have been described. Our aim is to describe a regimen that is based, as far as possible, on available evidence but also on our experience in managing patients with DKA in the A&E department and on inpatient wards. A literature search was carried out on Medline and the Cochrane Databases using “diabetic ketoacidosis” as a MeSH heading and as textword. High yield journals were hand searched. Papers identified were appraised in the ways described in the Users’ guide series published in JAMA. We will not be discussing the derangements in intermediary metabolism involved, nor would we suggest extrapolating the proposed regimen to children. Although some of the issues discussed may be considered by some to be outwith the remit of A&E medicine it would seem prudent to ensure that A&E staff were aware of the probable management of such patients in the hours after they leave the A&E department. AETIOLOGY AND DEFINITION DKA may be the first presentation of diabetes. Insulin error (with or without intercurrent illness) is the most common precipitating factor, accounting for nearly two thirds of cases (excluding those where DKA was the first presentation of diabetes mellitus).2 The main features of DKA are hyperglycaemia, metabolic acidosis with a high anion gap and heavy ketonuria (box 1). This contrasts with the other hyperglycaemic diabetic emergency of hyperosmolar non-ketotic hyperglycaemia where there is no acidosis, absent or minimal ketonuria but often very high glucose levels (>33 mM) and very high serum sodium levels (>15 Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Treatment Approach The main goals of treatment are: Restoration of volume deficits Resolution of hyperglycemia and ketosis/acidosis Correction of electrolyte abnormalities (potassium level should be >3.3 mEq/L before initiation of insulin therapy; use of insulin in a patient with hypokalemia may lead to respiratory paralysis, cardiac arrhythmias, and death) Treatment of the precipitating events and prevention of complications. It must be emphasized that successful treatment requires frequent monitoring of clinical and laboratory parameters to achieve resolution criteria. A treatment protocol and a flow sheet for recording the treatment stages and laboratory data should be maintained. [1] [38] [39] [40] Initial and supportive treatment The majority of patients present to the emergency department, where treatment should be initiated. There are several important steps that should be followed in early management: Fluid therapy should be started immediately after initial laboratory evaluations. Infusion of isotonic solution of 0.9% sodium chloride at a rate of 1 to 1.5 L/hour should be used for the first hour of fluid therapy. Indications for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) are hemodynamic instability or cardiogenic shock, altered mental status, respiratory insufficiency, severe acidosis, and hyperosmolar state with coma. The diagnosis of hemodynamic instability should made by observing for hypotension and clinical signs of poor tissue perfusion, including oliguria, cyanosis, cool extremities, and altered mental state. After admission to ICU, central venous and arterial lines are required, with continuous percutaneous oximetry. Oxygenation and airway protection are critical. Intubation and mechanical ventilation are commonly required, with constant monitoring of r Continue reading >>

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

INVOKANA® can cause important side effects, including: Amputations. INVOKANA® may increase your risk of lower-limb amputations. Amputations mainly involve removal of the toe or part of the foot; however, amputations involving the leg, below and above the knee, have also occurred. Some people had more than one amputation, some on both sides of the body. You may be at a higher risk of lower-limb amputation if you: have a history of amputation, have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease, have had blocked or narrowed blood vessels (usually in leg), have damage to the nerves (neuropathy) in the leg, or have had diabetic foot ulcers or sores. Call your doctor right away if you have new pain or tenderness, any sores, ulcers, or infections in your leg or foot. Your doctor may decide to stop your INVOKANA® for a while if you have any of these signs or symptoms. Talk to your doctor about proper foot care Dehydration. INVOKANA® can cause some people to become dehydrated (the loss of too much body water), which may cause you to feel dizzy, faint, lightheaded, or weak, especially when you stand up (orthostatic hypotension). You may be at higher risk of dehydration if you have low blood pressure, take medicines to lower your blood pressure (including diuretics [water pills]), are on a low sodium (salt) diet, have kidney problems, or are 65 years of age or older Vaginal yeast infection. Women who take INVOKANA® may get vaginal yeast infections. Symptoms include: vaginal odor, white or yellowish vaginal discharge (discharge may be lumpy or look like cottage cheese), or vaginal itching Yeast infection of the penis (balanitis or balanoposthitis). Men who take INVOKANA® may get a yeast infection of the skin around the penis. Symptoms include: redness, itching, or swelling o Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Practice Essentials Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute, major, life-threatening complication of diabetes that mainly occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes, but it is not uncommon in some patients with type 2 diabetes. This condition is a complex disordered metabolic state characterized by hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, and ketonuria. Signs and symptoms The most common early symptoms of DKA are the insidious increase in polydipsia and polyuria. The following are other signs and symptoms of DKA: Nausea and vomiting; may be associated with diffuse abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and anorexia History of failure to comply with insulin therapy or missed insulin injections due to vomiting or psychological reasons or history of mechanical failure of insulin infusion pump Altered consciousness (eg, mild disorientation, confusion); frank coma is uncommon but may occur when the condition is neglected or with severe dehydration/acidosis Signs and symptoms of DKA associated with possible intercurrent infection are as follows: See Clinical Presentation for more detail. Diagnosis On examination, general findings of DKA may include the following: Characteristic acetone (ketotic) breath odor In addition, evaluate patients for signs of possible intercurrent illnesses such as MI, UTI, pneumonia, and perinephric abscess. Search for signs of infection is mandatory in all cases. Testing Initial and repeat laboratory studies for patients with DKA include the following: Serum electrolyte levels (eg, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus) Note 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 And Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

In Brief Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome (HHS) are two acute complications of diabetes that can result in increased morbidity and mortality if not efficiently and effectively treated. Mortality rates are 2–5% for DKA and 15% for HHS, and mortality is usually a consequence of the underlying precipitating cause(s) rather than a result of the metabolic changes of hyperglycemia. Effective standardized treatment protocols, as well as prompt identification and treatment of the precipitating cause, are important factors affecting outcome. The two most common life-threatening complications of diabetes mellitus include diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS). Although there are important differences in their pathogenesis, the basic underlying mechanism for both disorders is a reduction in the net effective concentration of circulating insulin coupled with a concomitant elevation of counterregulatory hormones (glucagon, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone). These hyperglycemic emergencies continue to be important causes of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes. DKA is reported to be responsible for more than 100,000 hospital admissions per year in the United States1 and accounts for 4–9% of all hospital discharge summaries among patients with diabetes.1 The incidence of HHS is lower than DKA and accounts for <1% of all primary diabetic admissions.1 Most patients with DKA have type 1 diabetes; however, patients with type 2 diabetes are also at risk during the catabolic stress of acute illness.2 Contrary to popular belief, DKA is more common in adults than in children.1 In community-based studies, more than 40% of African-American patients with DKA were >40 years of age and more than 2 Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Patient professional reference Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Pre-diabetes (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) article more useful, or one of our other health articles. See also the separate Childhood Ketoacidosis article. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a medical emergency with a significant morbidity and mortality. It should be diagnosed promptly and managed intensively. DKA is characterised by hyperglycaemia, acidosis and ketonaemia:[1] Ketonaemia (3 mmol/L and over), or significant ketonuria (more than 2+ on standard urine sticks). Blood glucose over 11 mmol/L or known diabetes mellitus (the degree of hyperglycaemia is not a reliable indicator of DKA and the blood glucose may rarely be normal or only slightly elevated in DKA). Bicarbonate below 15 mmol/L and/or venous pH less than 7.3. However, hyperglycaemia may not always be present and low blood ketone levels (<3 mmol/L) do not always exclude DKA.[2] Epidemiology DKA is normally seen in people with type 1 diabetes. Data from the UK National Diabetes Audit show a crude one-year incidence of 3.6% among people with type 1 diabetes. In the UK nearly 4% of people with type 1 diabetes experience DKA each year. About 6% of cases of DKA occur in adults newly presenting with type 1 diabetes. About 8% of episodes occur in hospital patients who did not primarily present with DKA.[2] However, DKA may also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although people with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to have a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state. Ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes tends to be more common in older, overweight, non-white people with type 2 diabetes, and DKA may be their Continue reading >>

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