Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Serious Complication
A balanced body chemistry is crucial for a healthy human body. A sudden drop in pH can cause significant damage to organ systems and even death. This lesson takes a closer look at a condition in which the pH of the body is severely compromised called diabetic ketoacidosis. Definition Diabetic ketoacidosis, sometimes abbreviated as DKA, is a condition in which a high amount of acid in the body is caused by a high concentration of ketone bodies. That definition might sound complicated, but it's really not. Acidosis itself is the state of too many hydrogen ions, and therefore too much acid, in the blood. A pH in the blood leaving the heart of 7.35 or less indicates acidosis. Ketones are the biochemicals produced when fat is broken down and used for energy. While a healthy body makes a very low level of ketones and is able to use them for energy, when ketone levels become too high, they make the body's fluids very acidic. Let's talk about the three Ws of ketoacidosis: who, when, and why. Type one diabetics are the group at the greatest risk for ketoacidosis, although the condition can occur in other groups of people, such as alcoholics. Ketoacidosis usually occurs in type one diabetics either before diagnosis or when they are subjected to a metabolic stress, such as a severe infection. Although it is possible for type two diabetics to develop ketoacidosis, it doesn't happen as frequently. To understand why diabetic ketoacidosis occurs, let's quickly review what causes diabetes. Diabetics suffer from a lack of insulin, the protein hormone responsible for enabling glucose to get into cells. This inability to get glucose into cells means that the body is forced to turn elsewhere to get energy, and that source is fat. As anyone who exercises or eats a low-calorie diet knows, fa Continue reading >>
Ketoacidosis Versus Ketosis
Some medical professionals confuse ketoacidosis, an extremely abnormal form of ketosis, with the normal benign ketosis associated with ketogenic diets and fasting states in the body. They will then tell you that ketosis is dangerous. Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com Ketosis is NOT Ketoacidosis The difference between the two conditions is a matter of volume and flow rate*: Benign nutritional ketosis is a controlled, insulin regulated process which results in a mild release of fatty acids and ketone body production in response to either a fast from food, or a reduction in carbohydrate intake. Ketoacidosis is driven by a lack of insulin in the body. Without insulin, blood sugar rises to high levels and stored fat streams from fat cells. This excess amount of fat metabolism results in the production of abnormal quantities of ketones. The combination of high blood sugar and high ketone levels can upset the normal acid/base balance in the blood and become dangerous. In order to reach a state of ketoacidosis, insulin levels must be so low that the regulation of blood sugar and fatty acid flow is impaired. *See this reference paper. Here's a table of the actual numbers to show the differences in magnitude: Body Condition Quantity of Ketones Being Produced After a meal: 0.1 mmol/L Overnight Fast: 0.3 mmol/L Ketogenic Diet (Nutritional ketosis): 1-8 mmol/L >20 Days Fasting: 10 mmol/L Uncontrolled Diabetes (Ketoacidosis): >20 mmol/L Here's a more detailed explanation: Fact 1: Every human body maintains the blood and cellular fluids within a very narrow range between being too acidic (low pH) and too basic (high pH). If the blood pH gets out of the normal range, either too low or too high, big problems happen. Fact 2: The Continue reading >>
What Was A Choice You Made That Completely Changed Your Life?
I gave up pitching myself to everyone out there. When I graduated from the university, I had no clue what to do next. As well as thousands of young graduates who have to move to the next stage of their lives, I had to decide where to live, how to make money, and ultimately what direction to move in… I had no idea what decisions would let me not screw up my life. I was still looking for the passion and was still trying to understand what excites me the most. The only thing I felt passionate about was blogging. However, I realized that it wasn’t likely to let me make a living within the first year or two. Another thing I knew is that I have always wanted to be self-employed and run my own business. I had a decent amount of ideas that seemed great to me… however, I had no dedicated team and not enough savings to sustain a startup… Unfortunately, it didn’t seem feasible to launch a business. I had too many questions and no answers at all. I faced a few dilemmas and appeared to be not ready to solve them. Eventually, I kept blogging on a regular basis and as most people out there I decided to look for a job. The next month was all about pitching - every single day I sent resumes to dozens of different companies and tried to convince the editors of the authoritative outlets that my writing is worth sharing. No success. Neither companies were sending me job offers, nor anyone found my articles interesting enough. Over that month I received 37 job rejections and sent 78 unanswered emails asking to feature my articles on different publications and websites. At that point, I realized that my strong unwillingness to work in the corporate sector and my overall uncertainty about the field I want to work at were not likely to help me land a nice job. Moreover, frankly speak Continue reading >>
Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs
Studies show that female dogs (particularly non-spayed) are more prone to DKA, as are older canines. Diabetic ketoacidosis is best classified through the presence of ketones that exist in the liver, which are directly correlated to the lack of insulin being produced in the body. This is a very serious complication, requiring immediate veterinary intervention. Although a number of dogs can be affected mildly, the majority are very ill. Some dogs will not recover despite treatment, and concurrent disease has been documented in 70% of canines diagnosed with DKA. Diabetes with ketone bodies is also described in veterinary terms as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. It is a severe complication of diabetes mellitus. Excess ketone bodies result in acidosis and electrolyte abnormalities, which can lead to a crisis situation for your dog. If left in an untreated state, this condition can and will be fatal. Some dogs who are suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis may present as systemically well. Others will show severe illness. Symptoms may be seen as listed below: Change in appetite (either increase or decrease) Increased thirst Frequent urination Vomiting Abdominal pain Mental dullness Coughing Fatigue or weakness Weight loss Sometimes sweet smelling breath is evident Slow, deep respiration. There may also be other symptoms present that accompany diseases that can trigger DKA, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. While some dogs may live fairly normal lives with this condition before it is diagnosed, most canines who become sick will do so within a week of the start of the illness. There are four influences that can bring on DKA: Fasting Insulin deficiency as a result of unknown and untreated diabetes, or insulin deficiency due to an underlying disease that in turn exacerba Continue reading >>
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 >>
Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis, A Misleading Presentation Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Go to: Introduction Hyperglycemia and ketosis in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are the result of insulin deficiency and an increase in the counterregulatory hormones glucagon, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone. Three processes are mainly responsible for hyperglycemia: increased gluconeogenesis, accelerated glycogenolysis, and impaired glucose utilization by peripheral tissues. This might also be augmented by transient insulin resistance due to hormone imbalance, as well as elevated free fatty acids. DKA is most commonly precipitated by infections. Other factors include discontinuation of or inadequate insulin therapy, pancreatitis, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, and illicit drug use. The diagnostic criteria of DKA, established by the American Diabetic Association, consists of a plasma glucose of >250 mg/dL, positive urinary or serum ketones, arterial pH of <7.3, serum bicarbonate <18 mEq/L, and a high anion gap. The key diagnostic feature of DKA is elevated circulating total blood ketone concentration. Hyperglycemia is also a key diagnostic criterion of DKA; however, a wide range of plasma glucose levels can be present on admission. Continue reading >>
A Preventable Crisis People who have had diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, will tell you it’s worse than any flu they’ve ever had, describing an overwhelming feeling of lethargy, unquenchable thirst, and unrelenting vomiting. “It’s sort of like having molasses for blood,” says George. “Everything moves so slow, the mouth can feel so dry, and there is a cloud over your head. Just before diagnosis, when I was in high school, I would get out of a class and go to the bathroom to pee for about 10–12 minutes. Then I would head to the water fountain and begin drinking water for minutes at a time, usually until well after the next class had begun.” George, generally an upbeat person, said that while he has experienced varying degrees of DKA in his 40 years or so of having diabetes, “…at its worst, there is one reprieve from its ill feeling: Unfortunately, that is a coma.” But DKA can be more than a feeling of extreme discomfort, and it can result in more than a coma. “It has the potential to kill,” says Richard Hellman, MD, past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “DKA is a medical emergency. It’s the biggest medical emergency related to diabetes. It’s also the most likely time for a child with diabetes to die.” DKA occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body, resulting in high blood glucose; the person is dehydrated; and too many ketones are present in the bloodstream, making it acidic. The initial insulin deficit is most often caused by the onset of diabetes, by an illness or infection, or by not taking insulin when it is needed. Ketones are your brain’s “second-best fuel,” Hellman says, with glucose being number one. If you don’t have enough glucose in your cells to supply energy to your brain, yo Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis: How Does It All Work?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of the ability to use glucose as an energy source. Usually this is due to a lack of insulin. Insulin is used to uptake glucose into the cells to be used for energy. If there is no insulin or the cells are resistant to insulin, the blood sugar levels increase to dangerous levels for the patient. It seems counter intuitive that the patient wouldn't have energy with such high levels of glucose, but this glucose is essentially unusable without insulin. Because your body needs energy to survive, it starts turning to alternative fuel sources (fat). Fat cells start breaking down and, as a result, release ketones (which are acidic) into the bloodstream. Hence the name: diabetic ketoacidosis. Causes The most common causes of DKA are not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection, becoming dehydrated, or a combination of these issues. It seems like it occurs mainly in patients with type one diabetes. Symptoms Some of the symptoms that people experience with DKA include the following: Excessive thirst and urination (more water is pulled into the urine as a result of high ketone loss in the urine) Lethargy Breathing very quickly (patients have a very high level of acids in their bloodstream and they try to "blow" off carbon dioxide by breathing quickly) A fruity odor on their breath (ketones have a fruity smell) Nausea and vomiting (the body tries to get rid of acids any way it can-even stomach acid!) Confusion Blurred vision Decreased perspiration (in line with the excessive urination...patients are very dehydrated) As more ketones accumulate in the blood and are passed through the urine, more sodium and potassium electrolytes are removed with them. Watch for electrolyte imbalances! Treatment Severe Continue reading >>
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: 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. 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. 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 >>
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 >>
Initial Evaluation Initial evaluation of patients with DKA includes diagnosis and treatment of precipitating factors (Table 14–18). The most common precipitating factor is infection, followed by noncompliance with insulin therapy.3 While insulin pump therapy has been implicated as a risk factor for DKA in the past, most recent studies show that with proper education and practice using the pump, the frequency of DKA is the same for patients on pump and injection therapy.19 Common causes by frequency Other causes Selected drugs that may contribute to diabetic ketoacidosis Infection, particularly pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and sepsis4 Inadequate insulin treatment or noncompliance4 New-onset diabetes4 Cardiovascular disease, particularly myocardial infarction5 Acanthosis nigricans6 Acromegaly7 Arterial thrombosis, including mesenteric and iliac5 Cerebrovascular accident5 Hemochromatosis8 Hyperthyroidism9 Pancreatitis10 Pregnancy11 Atypical antipsychotic agents12 Corticosteroids13 FK50614 Glucagon15 Interferon16 Sympathomimetic agents including albuterol (Ventolin), dopamine (Intropin), dobutamine (Dobutrex), terbutaline (Bricanyl),17 and ritodrine (Yutopar)18 DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS Three key features of diabetic acidosis are hyperglycemia, ketosis, and acidosis. The conditions that cause these metabolic abnormalities overlap. The primary differential diagnosis for hyperglycemia is hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (Table 23,20), which is discussed in the Stoner article21 on page 1723 of this issue. Common problems that produce ketosis include alcoholism and starvation. Metabolic states in which acidosis is predominant include lactic acidosis and ingestion of drugs such as salicylates and methanol. Abdominal pain may be a symptom of ketoacidosis or part of the inci Continue reading >>
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 >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)
Short-term high blood sugars are rarely lethal. However, for people with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2 who are not producing enough insulin, periods of high blood sugars can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. The absence of insulin allows your blood to slowly become acidic. The body’s cells cannot survive under acidic conditions so the liver will try to help the cells that are starved for glucose and secrete glucose. When combined with dehydration, this process accelerates into a poisonous cocktail that undermines the heart, impairs the brain, and can lead to death in days. Prolonged high blood sugars can be caused by missing insulin doses, problems with an insulin pump, being sick with the flu or other illness, or eating more carbohydrates than your body has insulin to process. Who Can Develop Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)? People with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can develop DKA. Most at risk however, are people with type 1 diabetes because they don’t make any insulin of their own and most people with type 2 diabetes do usually make some of their own insulin. Oftentimes DKA develops in people who have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes. Once diagnosed, people with diabetes can avoid DKA if they learn to recognize the beginning symptoms. How Do I Know If I Have Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)? DKA can develop slowly or quickly. At first, it mimics the symptoms of high blood sugar: thirstiness dry mouth frequent urination You will likely have high blood sugars and ketones in your urine (more on this below). If your body still doesn’t get the insulin it needs, your blood becomes more acidic. you will likely feel tired your body might start to feel very achy like when you have a high fever. When any of the following symptoms occur, your condition has likely pr Continue reading >>
Am I The Real Me When I Take Sertraline (zoloft) Or When I Don't Take It?
There is no real you. Brain-altering drugs make it so you are not who you were before you took them. Continually using them means you are continually not who you were before you took them. Sometimes even just short term use can mean the effects last indefinitely, whether or not you continue using those drugs. But, the point here is that altered states are fundamentally different from unaltered ones. The whole purpose of taking psychotropic drugs is to change who or how you feel to be. That does not mean the unaltered you is "the real you" and the altered you is "the unreal you", though. They are different, in whatever ways, but all concepts of "you" are dynamic—not fixed. The physical "you" changes on a daily basis, even minute to minute. Antidepressants cause alterations and dysfunction which results in different physical changes than you would normally experience, but in either case there is a dynamic organic situation occurring and I would not even say the "you" is simply reduced to that physical system. I don't mean that spiritually, either...I mean our decisions and range of experiences are not solely contingent upon how our brain or body are at a given moment. Our perspectives and self-estimations and experiences of life can all be changed by drugs that alter our physical functioning, but the system drugs are acting upon is the very "you" that is being discussed. So, the "you" is a contributing factor in the outcomes of physical as well as experiential happenings. The conscious assessment of and participation in those end products is, perhaps, another kind of "you". That "you" is also quite dynamic, but even more contextual. Antidepressants cause physical and functional changes in your brain which can affect personality, brain morphology, cognition, communicatio Continue reading >>
How Does Ketoacidosis Affect The Human Brain?
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is the body’s emergency reaction to glucose starvation in the absence of insulin. It is a disastrous reaction — in general, it makes things worse rather than better, and starts a vicious cycle of blood acidity, rising blood glucose, dehydration, and blood hyperosmolality (high concentration of dissolved stuff) that can be hard to break. One of the hardest-hit organs in DKA is the brain, due to the dehydration and acidic blood entering that sensitive organ. Severe DKA may lead to brain swelling (edema) which is life-threatening. But recent studies have shown that even a short, apparently fully-recovered stint of DKA leads to measurable brain injury. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life–threatening consequence of diabetes. DKA occurs when there is a lack of insulin in the body causing hyperglycemia. As a result of the inability of glucose to enter the cells, the body must find other means to obtain energy. As such, fat breakdown occurs resulting in the accumulation of fatty acids. The fatty acids are metabolized to ketones that cause the blood to become acidotic (pH less than7.3). Because glucose remains in the blood, there is an increase in thirst and drinking to eliminate the solute load of glucose, which also results in increased urination (polyuria and polydipsia). Thus, the combination of increased serum acidity, weight loss, polyuria, and polydipsia may lead to extreme dehydration, coma, or brain damage. Without a doubt, the most severe acute complication of DKA is cerebral edema. Many cases of new onset type 1 diabetes present DKA (15-70 percent depending on age and geographic region, according to multiple studies), hence the importance of an early diagnosis of diabetes in order to avoid potential consequences. Much research is be Continue reading >>