The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. 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. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes 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 Continue reading >>
Summarized from Nyenwe E, Kitabchi A. The evolution of diabetic ketoacidosis: An update of its etiology, pathogenesis and management. Metabolism 2016; 65: 507-21 Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is an acute, potentially life-threatening complication of poorly controlled diabetes, is the subject of a recent comprehensive review article. The authors discuss epidemiological issues, revealing increasing incidence of DKA and decreasing mortality. Once inevitably fatal, DKA now has a reported mortality rate of <1 % in adults and 5 % in the elderly who also have one or more chronic illnesses, in addition to diabetes. They reveal that although DKA more commonly affects those with type 1 diabetes, around a third of cases occur in those with type 2 diabetes. This introductory section also reminds that DKA is characterized by the presence of three cardinal biochemical features: raised blood glucose (hyperglycemia); presence of ketones in blood and urine (ketonemia, ketonuria); and metabolic acidosis. Insulin deficiency is central to the development of these three biochemical abnormalities. The very rare occurrence of euglycemic DKA (DKA with normal blood glucose) is highlighted by reference to recent reports of this condition in patients treated with a relatively new class of antidiabetic drug (the SGLT 2 inhibitors) that reduces blood glucose by inhibiting renal reabsorption of glucose. There follows discussion of factors that precipitate DKA (omission or inadequate dosing of insulin, and infection are the most common triggers), and the possible mechanisms responsible for ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes. This latter condition, which was recognized as an entity only relatively recently, is distinguished by the development of severe but transient failure of pancreatic β-cells to m Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)
Diabetic ketoacidosis, also called DKA, is a life-threatening complication occurring with undiagnosed and/or untreated Type 1 diabetes in adults and children. DKA symptoms often remain undiagnosed because they can look like (mimic) influenza, a stomach bug, strep infections, and other common illnesses and conditions. However, someone may actually have a common illness and DKA at the same time, causing the common illness symptoms to hide (mask) the underlying DKA symptoms. Either way, untreated Type 1 diabetes and DKA are 100% fatal. IMPORTANT: Diabetic ketoacidosis is LIFE-THREATENING and can progress quickly–often within 24 hours! If you or a loved one have any of the following symptoms with VOMITING AND LETHARGY COMBINED WITH LABORED BREATHING, do not consume sugar and seek emergency medical care immediately. Insist medical personnel Test One Drop of blood or urine for glucose (sugar) levels. DKA can be fatal! SYMPTOMS OF DKA: excessive thirst frequent urination or bedwetting increased appetite or sugar cravings abdominal pain irritability, grouchiness, or mood changes headaches and/or vision changes itchy skin/genitals (yeast or thrush) sudden weight loss flushed, hot, dry skin nausea and vomiting* fruity/acetone scented breath* lethargy, drowsiness, or fatigue* labored, rapid, and/or deep breathing* confusion, stupor, or unconsciousness* *A combination of any of these symptoms can be life-threatening. Seek EMERGENCY CARE. When new onset Type 1 diabetes remains undiagnosed and untreated the shortage of insulin causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to climb above the normal range. Without adequate insulin to regulate levels of glucose in the blood, high levels of acids called ketones build up in the body causing diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones are toxic and if l Continue reading >>
A Clinical Case Of Clozapine-induced Fatal Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Clozapine, a second generation medication, has become the atypical antipsychotic drug of choice for refractory or treatment-resistant schizophrenia. In addition to the high risk of agranulocytosis and seizures, clozapine treatment is increasingly associated with significant metabolic effects, such as hyperglycemia, central weight gain and adiposity, hypertriglyceridemia, and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A potentially life-threatening complication of altered metabolism is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This report details a case of fatal DKA in a schizophrenic patient undergoing treatment with clozapine. An African–American male in his 20s with a medical history significant for schizophrenia was presented to the psychiatric inpatient ward with severe paranoid thoughts and aggressive behavior. After trials of risperidone, olanzapine, and haloperidol—all of which failed to adequately control his psychotic symptoms—clozapine titration was initiated and he showed significant improvement. Weight gain was observed throughout hospitalization, but all blood and urine test results showed no metabolic or hematological abnormalities. The patient was discharged for outpatient treatment on clozapine (125 mg morning and 325 mg evening) along with divalproex sodium and metoprolol. Six days post-discharge, the patient died. A medical autopsy later ruled that the death was due to DKA without any evidence of contributory injuries or natural disease. Significant increase in body mass index from 28.7 to 33.5 was observed during hospitalization. The blood glucose level, measured after his death, was found to be 500 mg/dL. Altered metabolism due to clozapine can lead to dyslipidemia-mediated-pancreatic-beta-cell damage, decreased insulin secretion as well as insulin resis Continue reading >>
Acute Complications Of Diabetes - Diabetic Ketoacidosis
- [Voiceover] Oftentimes we think of diabetes mellitus as a chronic disease that causes serious complications over a long period of time if it's not treated properly. However, the acute complications of diabetes mellitus are often the most serious, and can be potentially even life threatening. Let's discuss one of the acute complications of diabetes, known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA for short, which can occur in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Now recall that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. And as such, there's an autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas, which prevents the pancreas from producing and secreting insulin. Therefore, there is an absolute insulin deficiency in type 1 diabetes. But what exactly does this mean for the body? To get a better understanding, let's think about insulin requirements as a balancing act with energy needs. Now the goal here is to keep the balance in balance. As the energy requirements of the body go up, insulin is needed to take the glucose out of the blood and store it throughout the body. Normally in individuals without type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is able to produce enough insulin to keep up with any amount of energy requirement. But how does this change is someone has type 1 diabetes? Well since their pancreas cannot produces as much insulin, they have an absolute insulin deficiency. Now for day-to-day activities, this may not actually cause any problems, because the small amount of insulin that is produced is able to compensate and keep the balance in balance. However, over time, as type 1 diabetes worsens, and less insulin is able to be produced, then the balance becomes slightly unequal. And this results in the sub-acute or mild symptoms of type 1 diabetes such as fatigue, because the body isn Continue reading >>
What's An Unforgettable Statement That Your Boss Told You?
I sucked at my work. I failed to complete most tasks on time. My peers would joke about how me to sticking to a deadline was akin to a politician living up to his word. I would put in 10 — 12 hours each day. But I never moved forward. One day, my boss emailed me asking for a list of tasks I perform during that day. I freaked out. Surely I was going to lose my job. I sent him my list after 3 days — after all, I had to live up to my reputation of missing deadlines. I didn’t sleep that night. The next day, my boss called me into his cabin. This is it, I thought. I’m gonna get fired for the first time in my life. I should start preparing for the handover process. But that didn’t happen. He made me sit down and offered a glass of water. Then he said, “Vishal, I noticed you cannot perform important tasks. You do a hundred things, but I can’t see any results.” “I try sir, but I keep getting burdened with additional work,” I said. Beads of sweat formed on my brow despite the cool temperature in his cabin. “Team members tell me their work is urgent. I know I get distracted. But I want to help everyone. When I try to say ‘no’, it doesn’t work. Yesterday Nishant scolded me for turning down his work.” The last sentence was a (harmless) lie. But hey, I was trying to defend myself. The ABCD of the Professional World I think my boss saw through the lie. Because he smiled and said, “Vishal, today I’ll share a piece of wisdom with you, which I got from the boss I learned the most from. It’s this: When you work in the corporate, prioritize your work as ABCD. A — Apna kaam (your own work) B — Boss ka kaam (your boss’ work) C — Company ka kaam (your organization’s work) D — Doosron ka kaam (others’ work).” How to Apply ABCD 1. Apna Kaam P Continue reading >>
Objective: To describe a case of gastric mucormycosis in conjunction with severe bleeding in a young woman, which occurred after an episode of ketoacidosis and had a fatal outcome. Methods: We present a case report, including detailed clinical and pathologic findings in a woman with gastric mucormycosis associated with severe bleeding. Results: A 17-year-old woman sought medical assistance for diabetic ketoacidosis and severe epigastric pain. Chest radiography showed normal findings, and blood and urine cultures were negative for bacterial growth. Endoscopy disclosed an extensive ulcerated lesion involving the greater curvature and posterior wall of the stomach. Biopsy specimens demonstrated the presence of invasive mucormycosis. Treatment with amphotericin B was initiated, but severe persistent gastrointestinal bleeding resulted in the patient's demise. Conclusion: In conjunction with diabetic ketoacidosis, severe infection by Mucor has been reported mainly in the rhino-orbital area. Although uncommon, the gastrointestinal tract can also be involved. In the case described, severe hemorrhage ensued and caused the patient's death. Continue reading >>
How Do I Control Type 1 Diabetes?
Others have already mentioned that type 1 diabetes is because the body does not produce insulin. In fact, the body’s immune system thinks the beta cells producing insulin are alien cells. Hence, it attacks and kills them. Until science figures out how to fix/fool the immune system into letting the beta cells live, type 1 diabetics have to take insulin to control blood sugar levels. Given that, what can one do to maintain “normal” blood sugar levels? I define “normal” blood sugar levels as a HbA1c of < 7 (others may have different definitions). I pick HbA1c < 7 because the DCCT study in the US has determined that maintaining an HbA1c < 7 helps keep long term complications at bay. I consider the following essential while trying to maintain an HbA1c < 7: Understand the disease. How it is caused? Can it be reversed? You have to accept that there is no alternative but to take insulin shots. I tend to think of type 1 diabetes as a spouse that I cannot divorce. If I “misbehave”, this spouse gets upset. Regular blood sugar monitoring. Buy a glucometer and check your blood sugar levels regularly. There is no better tool in keeping something in check - measure to know the current blood sugar level and make adjustments as required Learn to carb count and adjust insulin dosages. Initially, your doctor will give you a diet plan and suggest insulin dosages. Those are a good starting point. But, to lead a flexible lifestyle, you need to understand what’s happening. Master carb counting and adjusting insulin dosages. This gives one the much needed flexibility in leading a modern lifestyle. For convenience, you can explore using the insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitoring device; or a combination closed loop system. However, a good understanding of carb counting an Continue reading >>
Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same
There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstandings lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50 grams of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person in a state of “nutritional ketosis” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of “diabetic ketoacidosis” (DKA) and lastly, there are “starvation ketones” and “illness-induced ketones” The fact is they are very different. DKA is a dangerous state of ketosis that can easily land a diabetic in the hospital and is life-threatening. Meanwhile, “nutritional ketosis” is the result of a nutritional approach that both non-diabetics and diabetics can safely achieve through low-carb nutrition. Diabetic Ketoacidosis vs. Nutritional Ketosis Ryan Attar (soon to be Ryan Attar, ND) helps explain the science and actual human physiology behind these different types of ketone production. Ryan is currently studying to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Connecticut and also pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. He has interned under the supervision of the very well-known diabetes doc, Dr. Bernstein. Ryan explains: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: “Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones. Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.” “In normal individuals, or those with well controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and sto Continue reading >>
Brief Report Risperidone-associated Newly Diagnosed Diabetes And Fatal Diabetes Ketoacidosis In A Young Schizophrenic Patient
A 27-year-old man, who has been using risperidone for two months as the treatment for schizophrenia, with no previous history of diabetes was admitted to the hospital with the presentation of severe diabetes ketoacidosis and subsequent fatal progression. Continue reading >>
What is alcoholic ketoacidosis? Cells need glucose (sugar) and insulin to function properly. Glucose comes from the food you eat, and insulin is produced by the pancreas. When you drink alcohol, your pancreas may stop producing insulin for a short time. Without insulin, your cells won’t be able to use the glucose you consume for energy. To get the energy you need, your body will start to burn fat. When your body burns fat for energy, byproducts known as ketone bodies are produced. If your body is not producing insulin, ketone bodies will begin to build up in your bloodstream. This buildup of ketones can produce a life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis, or metabolic acidosis, occurs when you ingest something that is metabolized or turned into an acid. This condition has a number of causes, including: shock kidney disease abnormal metabolism In addition to general ketoacidosis, there are several specific types. These types include: alcoholic ketoacidosis, which is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which mostly develops in people with type 1 diabetes starvation ketoacidosis, which occurs most often in women who are pregnant, in their third trimester, and experiencing excessive vomiting Each of these situations increases the amount of acid in the system. They can also reduce the amount of insulin your body produces, leading to the breakdown of fat cells and the production of ketones. Alcoholic ketoacidosis can develop when you drink excessive amounts of alcohol for a long period of time. Excessive alcohol consumption often causes malnourishment (not enough nutrients for the body to function well). People who drink large quantities of alcohol may not eat regularly. They may also vomit as a result of drinking too Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complications of untreated diabetes. In this complication, severely insufficient insulin levels in the body results into high blood sugar that leads to the production and buildup of ketones in the blood. These ketones are slightly acidic, and large amounts of them can lead to ketoacidosis. If remained untreated, the condition leads to diabetic coma and may be fatal. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) gets triggered by a stressful event on the body, such as an illness or severe lack of insulin. DKA is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. In some cases, identification of DKA is the first indication that a person has diabetes. Early Sluggish and extreme tiredness Fruity smell to breath (like acetone) Extreme thirst, despite large fluid intake Constant urination/bedwetting Extreme weight loss Presence of Oral Thrush or yeast infections that fail to go away Muscle wasting Agitation / Irritation / Aggression / Confusion Late At this stage, Diabetic ketoacidosis reaches a life-threatening level: Vomiting. Although this can be a sign of hyperglycemia and isn't always a late-stage sign, it can occur with or without ketoacidosis. Confusion Abdominal pain Loss of appetite Flu-like symptoms Unconsciousness (diabetic coma) Being lethargic and apathetic Extreme weakness Kussmaul breathing (air hunger). In this condition, patients breathe more deeply and/or more rapidly The major risk factors accelerating on set of diabetic ketoacidosis include the following: Diabetes mellitus: Type 1 diabetics are at a higher risk of DKA, because they must rely on outside insulin sources for survival. DKA can occur in patients with type 2, particularly in obese children. Age: DKA may occur at any age, but younger people below 19 years of age are more susceptib Continue reading >>
As A Doctor, What Is The Biggest Mistake That You've Made?
My biggest mistake was giving too much naloxone to a patient with opioid tolerance because she as bradypneic. For non medical people browsing: Naloxone is an opioid reversal drug (an antidote). When people overdose on opioids, such as morphine, you can inject that drug to quickly “wake them up”. People overdosing on morphine breath slowly. They can even stop breathing (which isn’t optimal, obviously). My patient was breathing slowly (6 per minute) and her blood oxygen level was low (low 80%). She had been on morphine for a long time for chronic pain, so she was taking impressive doses of morphine. She wouldn’t wake up, so I thought I’d give her a little naloxone to help with her breathing. I went for the lowest dose recommended in the monograph (1/10 of a full dose), because I knew I just needed to control her breathing. It turns out that in order to do that, the dose is 1/10 of what I gave her (1/100 of the full dose). She woke up a few seconds after the injection. Then she started screaming. She was in agony. I had completely reversed her morphine. The unfortunate thing with naloxone is that the only way to “fix it” is to wait. 30 minutes of a woman screaming on the ward. We tried hard to help her through it, but it was terrifying. I wrote about that experience on my blog. That story is one of the main reason why I wrote my app, MD on Call after my first year of residency. We rarely talk about our mistakes, but we should. People learn from others mistakes. On top of that, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can occur in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. This causes harmful substances called ketones to build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly. DKA mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes occur in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the risk and know what to do if DKA occurs. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis Signs of DKA include: needing to pee more than usual being sick breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets or nail varnish) deep or fast breathing feeling very tired or sleepy passing out DKA can also cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine, which you can check for using home-testing kits. Symptoms usually develop over 24 hours, but can come on faster. Check your blood sugar and ketone levels Check your blood sugar level if you have symptoms of DKA. If your blood sugar is 11mmol/L or over and you have a blood or urine ketone testing kit, check your ketone level. If you do a blood ketone test: lower than 0.6mmol/L is a normal reading 0.6 to 1.5mmol/L means you're at a slightly increased risk of DKA and should test again in a couple of hours 1.6 to 2.9mmol/L means you're at an increased risk of DKA and should contact your diabetes team or GP as soon as possible 3mmol/L or over means you have a very high risk of DKA and should get medical help immediately If you do a urine ketone test, a result of more than 2+ means there's a high chance you have DKA. When to get medical help Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away if you think you have DKA, especially if you have a high level of ketones in Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Explained
Twitter Summary: DKA - a major complication of #diabetes – we describe what it is, symptoms, who’s at risk, prevention + treatment! One of the most notorious complications of diabetes is diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. First described in the late 19th century, DKA represented something close to the ultimate diabetes emergency: In just 24 hours, people can experience an onset of severe symptoms, all leading to coma or death. But DKA also represents one of the great triumphs of the revolution in diabetes care over the last century. Before the discovery of insulin in 1920, DKA was almost invariably fatal, but the mortality rate for DKA dropped to below 30 percent within 10 years, and now fewer than 1 percent of those who develop DKA die from it, provided they get adequate care in time. Don’t skip over that last phrase, because it’s crucial: DKA is very treatable, but only as long as it’s diagnosed promptly and patients understand the risk. Table of Contents: What are the symptoms of DKA? Does DKA occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes? What Can Patients do to Prevent DKA? What is DKA? Insulin plays a critical role in the body’s functioning: it tells cells to absorb the glucose in the blood so that the body can use it for energy. When there’s no insulin to take that glucose out of the blood, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) results. The body will also start burning fatty acids for energy, since it can’t get that energy from glucose. To make fatty acids usable for energy, the liver has to convert them into compounds known as ketones, and these ketones make the blood more acidic. DKA results when acid levels get too high in the blood. There are other issues too, as DKA also often leads to the overproduction and release of hormones like glucagon and adrenaline Continue reading >>