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How Does Ketoacidosis Lead To Coma

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State

The hallmark of diabetes is a raised plasma glucose resulting from an absolute or relative lack of insulin action. Untreated, this can lead to two distinct yet overlapping life-threatening emergencies. Near-complete lack of insulin will result in diabetic ketoacidosis, which is therefore more characteristic of type 1 diabetes, whereas partial insulin deficiency will suppress hepatic ketogenesis but not hepatic glucose output, resulting in hyperglycaemia and dehydration, and culminating in the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state. Hyperglycaemia is characteristic of diabetic ketoacidosis, particularly in the previously undiagnosed, but it is the acidosis and the associated electrolyte disorders that make this a life-threatening condition. Hyperglycaemia is the dominant feature of the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state, causing severe polyuria and fluid loss and leading to cellular dehydration. Progression from uncontrolled diabetes to a metabolic emergency may result from unrecognised diabetes, sometimes aggravated by glucose containing drinks, or metabolic stress due to infection or intercurrent illness and associated with increased levels of counter-regulatory hormones. Since diabetic ketoacidosis and the hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar state have a similar underlying pathophysiology the principles of treatment are similar (but not identical), and the conditions may be considered two extremes of a spectrum of disease, with individual patients often showing aspects of both. Pathogenesis of DKA and HHS Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone which helps nutrients to enter the cells, where these nutrients can be used either as fuel or as building blocks for cell growth and expansion. The complementary action of insulin is to antagonise the breakdown of fuel stores. Thus, the relea 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 >>

Understanding And Preventing Diabetic Coma

Understanding And Preventing Diabetic Coma

Diabetic coma is a serious, potentially life-threatening complication associated with diabetes. A diabetic coma causes unconsciousness that you cannot awaken from without medical care. Most cases of diabetic coma occur in people with type 1 diabetes. But people with other types of diabetes are also at risk. If you have diabetes, it’s important to learn about diabetic coma, including its causes and symptoms. Doing so will help prevent this dangerous complication and help you get the treatment you need right away. Diabetic coma can occur when blood sugar levels are out of control. It has three main causes: Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia occurs when you don’t have enough glucose, or sugar, in your blood. Low sugar levels can happen to anyone from time to time. If you treat mild to moderate hypoglycemia immediately, it usually resolves without progressing to severe hypoglycemia. People on insulin have the highest risk, though people who take oral diabetes medications that increase insulin levels in the body may also be at risk. Untreated or unresponsive low blood sugars can lead to severe hypoglycemia. This is the most common cause of diabetic coma. You should take extra precautions if you have difficulty detecting symptoms of hypoglycemia. This diabetes phenomenon is known as hypoglycemia unawareness. DKA Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when your body lacks insulin and uses fat instead of glucose for energy. Ketone bodies accumulate in the bloodstream. DKA occurs in both forms of diabetes, but it’s more common in type 1. Ketone bodies may be detected with special blood glucose meters or with urine strips to check for DKA. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking for ketone bodies and DKA if your blood glucose is over 240 mg/dl. When left untreated, DKA can Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma Different From Insulin Shock, Role Of Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia Crucial

Diabetic Coma Different From Insulin Shock, Role Of Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia Crucial

The role of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are crucial in diabetic coma. A diabetic coma is a complication of diabetes that leads to unconsciousness. A diabetic coma can result from both hyperglycemia – high blood sugar – or hypoglycemia – low blood sugar. A person in a diabetic coma is still alive, but they do not respond to light, sound, touch or any stimulation. If left untreated a diabetic coma can be fatal. A diabetic coma can be confused with an insulin shock, but although the two may appear similar, they do contain their own unique differences. Diabetic coma vs. insulin shock Insulin shock is the body’s reaction to a drop in blood sugar – or hypoglycemia – as a result of too much insulin. Even though the condition is called insulin shock, there is no shock involved and insulin isn’t the main culprit. Even people without diabetes can experience insulin shock if their blood sugar drops low enough. The condition is called a shock because it makes the body react similarly to when blood pressure drops – a fight or flight response. Symptoms of insulin shock are fast breathing, rapid pulse, dizziness, headache, numbness and hunger. Diabetic coma, on the other hand, causes unconsciousness that can occur over the course of days or even weeks and also cause dehydration. Although both conditions must be treated immediately, diabetic coma can be fatal. Causes of diabetic coma There are various causes of diabetic coma, including diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome, and hypoglycemia. Diabetic ketoacidosis: This is a condition where muscles become starved for energy, so the body begins breaking down fat from storage. This forms a toxin known as ketones and, if untreated, can contribute to diabetic coma. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome: Diabetic Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Definition Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when a person’s blood glucose is too high because there is not enough insulin. Instead, the body starts to burn fat for energy. Fat is broken down into acids, causing acid levels to build up in the blood. These acids appear in urine and blood as ketones. DKA is a serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it is not promptly treated. Causes DKA is most often caused by uncontrolled type 1 diabetes and sometimes type 2 diabetes. Risk Factors Factors that may increase your risk of DKA: Not taking insulin as prescribed or not taking insulin at all Developing type 1 diabetes for the first time Gastroenteritis with persistent vomiting New infection that may not be obvious, such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection, or sepsis Heart disease, such as heart attack Recent stroke Pregnancy Surgery Some medications, such as steroids or antipsychotic drugs Recreational drug use, such as cocaine Blood clot to the lungs Significant illness or trauma Symptoms DKA may cause: High blood glucose levels (greater than 250 mg per dL) Dry mouth and skin Thirst Frequent urination Symptoms that require emergency care include: Severe stomach pain Rapid or difficult breathing Drowsiness Vomiting and nausea Fruity breath odor Rapid pulse Headache Diagnosis You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Blood and urine tests will be done. Blood and urine will be checked for ketones. The levels of glucose and other substances in your blood will be tested. An arterial blood sample will be taken to test the amount of acid in your blood. This will determine how severe your DKA is. Tests for infection may also be done. An electrocardiogram (EKG) may also be done to check your heart's electrical activity. Tr Continue reading >>

Cerebral Edema With Irreversible Coma In Severe Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Cerebral Edema With Irreversible Coma In Severe Diabetic Ketoacidosis

This article has no abstract; the first 100 words appear below. THE number of deaths from severe diabetic acidosis has been significantly reduced in recent years with adequate insulin treatment and a better understanding of fluid and electrolyte balance. Experience at the Joslin Clinic has indicated a mortality of 3 to 5 per cent.1 However, deaths in 12 to 15 per cent of cases reported by those skilled in the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis2 3 4 5 indicate a significantly higher mortality generally prevailing in most hospitals. Ordinarily, unless diagnosed late or handled inadequately, severe diabetic acidosis and coma are not fatal, and many of the deaths that continue to occur are related to . . . * Formerly, fellow in medicine, Joslin Clinic and New England Deaconess Hospital (present address, Mesiricordia General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). † Physician, Joslin Clinic and New England Deaconess Hospital; associate physician, Boston Lying-in Hospital; clinical consultant in medicine. Boston University School of Medicine. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) happens when your blood sugar is high and your insulin level is low. This imbalance in the body causes a build-up of ketones. Ketones are toxic. If DKA isn’t treated, it can lead to diabetic coma and even death. DKA mainly affects people who have type 1 diabetes. But it can also happen with other types of diabetes, including type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (during pregnancy). DKA is a very serious condition. If you have diabetes and think you may have DKA, contact your doctor or get to a hospital right away. The first symptoms to appear are usually: frequent urination. The next stage of DKA symptoms include: vomiting (usually more than once) confusion or trouble concentrating a fruity odor on the breath. The main cause of DKA is not enough insulin. A lack of insulin means sugar can’t get into your cells. Your cells need sugar for energy. This causes your body’s glucose levels to rise. To get energy, the body starts to burn fat. This process causes ketones to build up. Ketones can poison the body. High blood glucose levels can also cause you to urinate often. This leads to a lack of fluids in the body (dehydration). DKA can be caused by missing an insulin dose, eating poorly, or feeling stressed. An infection or other illness (such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection) can also lead to DKA. If you have signs of infection (fever, cough, or sore throat), contact your doctor. You will want to make sure you are getting the right treatment. For some people, DKA may be the first sign that they have diabetes. When you are sick, you need to watch your blood sugar level very closely so that it doesn’t get too high or too low. Ask your doctor what your critical blood sugar level is. Most patients should watch their glucose levels c Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Coma.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Coma.

Abstract DKA-hyperosmolar coma is a readily diagnosed and easily treated, potentially catastrophic emergency that regularly occurs in both Type I and Type II diabetics. This review emphasized that diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar coma can, and very frequently do, occur concurrently, but it is the hyperosmolar state rather than the DKA that is the primary cause of coma and death in this condition. One must therefore vigorously treat the hyperosmolarity and resulting dehydration, especially when total calculated osmolarity exceeds 230 to 240 mOsm/L. The major aim of treatment is to rapidly replace the major water loss that is responsible for this clinical condition and to stimulate glucose metabolism with insulin. The diagnosis of this dangerous condition is relatively simple. The therapy, in most regards, is equally apparent. There are good data demonstrating that the prompt recognition of DKA-hyperosmolar coma and the simple institution of rapid rehydration have continued to reduce the mortality and complications of this potentially disastrous complication of diabetes mellitus. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergencies (ketoacidosis And Coma)

Diabetic Emergencies (ketoacidosis And Coma)

The blood glucose (sugar) level is maintained with a narrow range that is sufficient for the cells to have an adequate supply of nutrition for energy production. High glucose levels can damage or even destroy cells over time while low levels will prevent cells from functioning optimally and lead to key systems in the body shutting down. Glucose like all other nutrients are derived from the food we eat. The food is digested and absorbed within the alimentary tract that runs from the mouth to the anus. The stomach and intestines (gastrointestinal tract) are the main sites for digestion and absorption. The nutrients then enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver where it is processed further. Other organs like the pancreas play a role in managing the nutrient levels within the body and its availability to the body’s cells. The pancreas specifically impacts on the blood glucose levels by secreting the hormone insulin which lowers blood glucose levels by promoting the cells to take up more glucose from the bloodstream and stimulating the liver to convert the glucose into other storage forms like glycogen and even fat. What is a diabetic emergency? Diabetes mellitus is a clinical condition which is characterized by high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) due to absolute (type 1 diabetes) or relative (type 2 diabetes) deficiency of insulin. This means that the body lacks insulin, secretes too little insulin or the body cells becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. The elevated blood glucose levels gradually diminishes different cells and organs. Diabetic emergencies can occur due to very high or very low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). They may arise in a person undergoing diabetes treatment but can also occur in new diabetic cases. Types of Diabetic Emergencies Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma Symptoms

Diabetic Coma Symptoms

A diabetic coma is one of the most life-threatening complications of diabetes. The main symptom is unconsciousness. A diabetic coma can be the result of having a blood glucose level that is too high (hyperglycemia) or a blood glucose level that is too low (hypoglycemia). The diabetic in a diabetic coma is unconscious and can die if the condition is not treated. Symptoms of Diabetic Coma Before you lapse into a diabetic coma, there are usually warning signs of blood sugar levels that are too low or blood sugar levels that are too high. For example, if the blood sugar is too high, the you may experience tiredness, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, increased urination, increased thirst, a rapid heart rate, a dry mouth, and a fruity smell to your breath. If the blood sugar is too low, you may experience signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, including weakness, tiredness, anxiety, tremulousness, nervousness, nausea, confusion, problems communicating, light-headedness, hunger, or dizziness. If you have had diabetes for many years, you may not have many symptoms of low blood sugar and won’t know you have the condition prior to falling into a coma. If you suspect that you have either high blood sugar or low blood sugar, you need to check your blood glucose levels and do what your doctor has recommended for you to treat the disease. If you don’t feel better after trying home remedies, you need to call 911 and get some kind of emergency care. Causes of Diabetic Coma The main cause of a diabetic coma is an extremely high blood sugar or an extremely low blood sugar. The following medical conditions can cause a diabetic coma: Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. This is a condition in which the blood sugar is as high as 600 mg/d: or 33.3 mmol per liter. There are no ketones in the u Continue reading >>

Cranberry Sparkler

Cranberry Sparkler

A state of profound unconsciousness from which a person cannot be aroused. It may be the result of trauma, a brain tumor, loss of blood supply to the brain (as from cerebrovascular disease), a toxic metabolic condition, or encephalitis (brain inflammation) from an infectious disease. In people with diabetes, two conditions associated with very high blood glucose may cause coma; these are diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS). Severe hypoglycemia, or very low blood glucose, may also lead to coma. It’s important for all people with diabetes to learn to recognize these conditions and respond accordingly. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious imbalance in blood chemistry causing about 100,000 hospitalizations each year, with a mortality rate of under 5%. It typically occurs when a person has high blood sugar and insufficient insulin to handle it. Without adequate insulin, the body breaks down fat cells for energy, flooding the bloodstream with metabolic by-products called ketoacids. Meanwhile, the kidneys begin filtering large amounts of glucose from the blood and producing large amounts of urine. As the person urinates more frequently, the body becomes dehydrated and loses important minerals called electrolytes. If not treated, these serious imbalances can eventually lead to coma and death. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state most commonly affects elderly people. Like DKA, HHS starts with high blood glucose and insulin deficiency and causes people to urinate frequently and become dehydrated. HHS also impairs the ability of the kidneys to filter glucose from the bloodstream, making the blood glucose level rise even higher. Because of the extreme dehydration, HHS can be life-threatening, with a mortality rate of 15%, and can be even more difficul Continue reading >>

Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Coma

Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Coma

There are two acute conditions that can develop from the combination of high blood sugars and dehydration. The first is called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. It occurs in people who make virtually no insulin on their own (either type 1 diabetics or type 2 diabetics who have lost nearly all beta cell activity). Very low serum insulin levels, combined with the insulin resistance caused by high blood sugars and dehydration, result in the virtual absence of insulin-mediated glucose transport to the tissues of the body. In the absence of adequate insulin, the body metabolizes stored fats to produce the energy that tissues require to remain alive. A by-product of fat metabolism is the production of substances called ketones and ketoacids. One of the ketones, acetone, is familiar as the major component of nail polish remover. Ketones may be detected in the urine by using a dipstick such as Ketostix (see Chapter 3, “Your Diabetic Tool Kit”). Ketones may also be detected on the breath as the aroma of an organic solvent, which is why unconscious diabetics are often mistaken for passed-out drunks. Ketones and ketoacids are toxic in large amounts. More important, your kidneys will try to eliminate them with even more urine, thereby causing further dehydration. Some of the hallmarks of severe ketoacidosis are large amounts of ketones in the urine, extreme thirst, dry mouth, nausea, frequent urination, deep labored breathing, and high blood sugar (usually over 350 mg/dl). The other acute complication of high blood sugar and dehydration, hyperosmolar coma, is a potentially more severe condition, and occurs in people whose beta cells still make some insulin. (“Hyperosmolar” refers to high concentrations of glucose, sodium, and chloride in the blood due to inadequate water to di Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Definition Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous complication of diabetes mellitus in which the chemical balance of the body becomes far too acidic. Description Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) always results from a severe insulin deficiency. Insulin is the hormone secreted by the body to lower the blood sugar levels when they become too high. Diabetes mellitus is the disease resulting from the inability of the body to produce or respond properly to insulin, required by the body to convert glucose to energy. In childhood diabetes, DKA complications represent the leading cause of death, mostly due to the accumulation of abnormally large amounts of fluid in the brain (cerebral edema). DKA combines three major features: hyperglycemia, meaning excessively high blood sugar kevels; hyperketonemia, meaning an overproduction of ketones by the body; and acidosis, meaning that the blood has become too acidic. Insulin deficiency is responsible for all three conditions: the body glucose goes largely unused since most cells are unable to transport glucose into the cell without the presence of insulin; this condition makes the body use stored fat as an alternative source instead of the unavailable glucose for energy, a process that produces acidic ketones, which build up because they require insulin to be broken down. The presence of excess ketones in the bloodstream in turn causes the blood to become more acidic than the body tissues, which creates a toxic condition. Causes and symptoms DKA is most commonly seen in individuals with type I diabetes, under 19 years of age and is usually caused by the interruption of their insulin treatment or by acute infection or trauma. A small number of people with type II diabetes also experience ketoacidosis, but this is rare give 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 >>

What You Should Know About Recovery From Diabetic Coma

What You Should Know About Recovery From Diabetic Coma

A diabetic coma occurs when a person with diabetes loses consciousness. It can occur in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A diabetic coma occurs when blood sugar levels become either too low or too high. The cells in your body require glucose to function. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can make you feel lightheaded and lose consciousness. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can cause dehydration to the point where you may lose consciousness. Usually, you can prevent hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia from progressing to a diabetic coma. If a diabetic coma occurs, it’s likely that your doctor can balance your blood glucose levels and restore your consciousness and health quickly if they can respond to your condition in a timely manner. You can also slip into a diabetic coma if you develop diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a buildup of chemicals called ketones in your blood. Hypoglycemia The symptoms of hypoglycemia may include: headache fatigue dizziness confusion heart palpitations shakiness Hyperglycemia If you have hyperglycemia, you may experience noticeably increased thirst and you may urinate more frequently. A blood test would also reveal higher levels of glucose in your blood stream. A urine test can also show that your glucose levels are too high. DKA causes high levels of blood glucose. The symptoms also include increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Other symptoms of elevated ketone levels include: feeling tired having an upset stomach having flushed or dry skin If you have more severe diabetic coma symptoms, call 911. Severe symptoms may include: vomiting difficulty breathing confusion weakness dizziness A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. It can lead to brain damage or death if you don’t get treatment. Treating hyperg Continue reading >>

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