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How Long Can Ketoacidosis Last

The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Today, we’re excited to share with you another guest blog from Katie Janowiak, who works for the Medtronic Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm. When she first told me her story about food poisoning and Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), I knew others could benefit from hearing it as well. Thanks Katie for your openness and allowing us to share your scary story so that the LOOP community can learn from it. Throughout this past year, I’ve had the honor of sharing with you, the amazing LOOP community, my personal journey and the often humorous sequence of events that is my life with T1. Humor is, after all, the best (and cheapest) therapy. Allow me to pause today to share with you the down and dirty of what it feels like to have something that is not the slightest bit humorous: diabetic ketoacidosis.You are hot. You are freezing. You are confused. You are blacked out but coherent. You go to talk but words fail you. Time flies and goes in slow motion simultaneously. You will likely smell and look like death. In my instance, this was brought on by the combination of excessive vomiting and dehydration caused by food poisoning and the diabetic ketoacidosis that followed after my body had gone through so much. In hindsight, I was lucky, my husband knew that I had food poisoning because I began vomiting after our meal. But I had never prepped him on diabetic ketoacidosis and the symptoms (because DKA was for those other diabetics.) Upon finding me in our living room with a bowl of blood and bile by my side (no, I am not exaggerating), he got me into the car and took me to emergency care. It was 5:30 p.m. – and I thought it was 11:00 a.m. The series of events that led up to my stay in the ICU began innocently enough. It was a warm summer night and my husband and I walke Continue reading >>

> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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

Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know

Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know

In people with diabetes, a diabetic coma occurs when severe levels of either high or low uncontrolled blood sugar are not corrected. If treated quickly, a person will make a rapid recovery from a diabetic coma. However, diabetic coma can be fatal or result in brain damage. It is important for people with diabetes to control their blood sugars and know what to do when their blood sugar levels are not within their target range. The severe symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar that can come before a diabetic coma include vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, weakness, and dizziness. Recovery from diabetic coma If a diabetic coma is not treated within a couple of hours of it developing, it can cause irreversible brain damage. If no treatment is received, a diabetic coma will be fatal. In addition, having blood sugar levels that continue to be too low or too high can be bad for long-term health. This remains true even if they do not develop into diabetic coma. Recognizing the early signs of low or high blood sugar levels and regular monitoring can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range. Doing so will also reduce the risk of associated complications and diabetic coma. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a long-term condition in which the body is unable to control the level of a sugar called glucose in the blood. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin, the body's inability to use insulin correctly, or both. In people who don't have diabetes, insulin usually ensures that excess glucose is removed from the bloodstream. It does this by stimulating cells to absorb the glucose they need for energy from the blood. Insulin also causes any remaining glucose to be stored in the liver as a substance called glycogen. The production of insul Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a buildup of acids in the blood. It is a life-threatening complication of diabetes resulting from not having enough insulin. It may happen with type 1 diabetes. (It rarely happens with type 2 diabetes.) It’s an emergency that must be treated right away. If ketoacidosis is not treated right away, it can cause coma or death. What is the cause? Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when the body does not have enough insulin. Without insulin, sugars in the blood cannot move out of the blood and into the body’s cells, so the cells burn fats instead of sugar for energy. The burning of fats makes byproducts called ketones. The ketones build up to poisonous and dangerous levels in the blood. Usually the blood sugar is also very high. Ketoacidosis can happen if you skip doses of insulin. Or it may happen if there is a change in your life, such as: Infection Injury Heart attack Surgery Pregnancy Other types of physical or emotional stress If you are using an insulin pump, it may happen if you stop getting insulin because there is a kink in the tube or the tube comes out. Sometimes you may not know you have diabetes until ketoacidosis occurs. When the pancreas stops making insulin, it happens over a short period of time. In just a few days your blood sugar can get very high and ketones can build up to a high level very fast. It may happen so fast that ketoacidosis symptoms are the first symptoms of diabetes that you have. What are the symptoms? Symptoms of ketoacidosis may include: Shortness of breath Fruity smelling breath Very dry mouth Nausea and vomiting Symptoms of high blood sugar may include: Blurry vision Dry mouth Feeling very thirsty and drinking a lot Urinating a lot Tiredness Several hours to a couple of days after symptoms start, ketoacidosis may Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Explained

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 >>

Children With Type 1 Diabetes At Risk For Life-threatening Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Children With Type 1 Diabetes At Risk For Life-threatening Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Two weeks before a family vacation last spring, 10-year-old Hailey Evans started to drink a lot more water. Her parents didn’t think much of it, given that Hailey had just joined a running team at her school in Northern Virginia and was exercising more. Not long after landing in Bolivia, where one of Hailey’s grandparents lives, she complained of a stomachache and nausea. Altitude sickness, her parents figured. Then Hailey took a sudden turn for the worse. Hospitalized the next day, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes within an hour. A few hours after that, she was in coma caused by swelling in her brain and severe dehydration. The next morning, April 20th, Hailey died, two weeks shy of her 11th birthday. Hailey’s devastated parents, Vanessa and Derrick Evans, now have joined a growing chorus of voices determined to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and push for more regular blood sugar testing. While Type 1 diabetes is the second most common chronic illness of childhood—trailing only asthma—it can mimic other common ailments and often is missed until it has taken a potentially deadly turn. “We had no idea,” Vanessa Evans says. “I wish I would have known, because maybe taking her to the doctor sooner would have saved her life. I would have never thought this could happen to anyone, much less us, yet here we are, left without our beautiful daughter. I don’t wish this pain on anyone. As we learned the hard way, with this disease, every minute, every hour, every day counts.” Cases of Type 1 diabetes are increasing worldwide, particularly in young children. Warning signs can include extreme thirst, frequent urination, a fruity breath odor and blurred vision, as well as generalized symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, stomachache, appetite changes and we Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Silent Death.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Silent Death.

Abstract Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from severe insulin deficiency and can be diagnosed at autopsy despite no known history of the disease. Diabetic ketoacidosis may be the initial manifestation of type 1 diabetes or may result from increased insulin requirement in type 1 diabetic patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the percentage of DKA death investigated by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner that was not associated with a known history of diabetes.Cases investigated by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner during a 6-year period whose cause of death was DKA were identified using a centralized database. To determine the percentage with known history of diabetes, investigation reports were reviewed for any documentation of this history. The toxicology reports of all DKA deaths were reviewed together with histologic slides, if available, for possible microscopic changes. Concentrations of vitreous glucose, vitreous acetone, and blood acetone were used to diagnose DKA in these autopsied cases.Nearly a third of all death from DKA (32 of 92 during a 6-year period) occurred in individuals who had no known history of diabetes, emphasizing the importance of regular physicals that include a check of glucose concentration, and especially if any warning signs are present. In a case of sudden death, it is recommended that the volatile toxicology analysis at a medical examiner's office should include tests for acetone concentration, which when elevated, together with an elevated vitreous glucose, indicates DKA. Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

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 >>

's Experience With Ketoacidosis.

's Experience With Ketoacidosis.

Signs Treatment Zama's experience Diabetic ketoacidosis is caused by a lack of insulin or an insufficient amount of insulin. Since the lack of insulin means that glucose in not able to be used, the body searches for a new source of energy. In this condition, the diabetic breaks down body fat (lipolysis) to use as energy. During lipolysis, waste products called ketones are produced. Ketones are eliminated in the urine and through the lungs. Under normal conditions, the body can tolerate and eliminate ketones. But in diabetic ketoacidosis, fats are being broken down at such a high rate that the body can not eliminate the ketones fast enough and they build up in the blood. In high amounts, ketones are toxic to the body. They cause the acid-base balance to change and serious electrolyte and fluid imbalances result. Some of the signs of ketoacidosis include polyuria polydipsia lethargy anorexia weakness vomiting dehydration There will probably be ketones in the urine (ketonuria) The breath may have a sweet chemical smell similar to nail polish remover. However, some owners have said that even during documented ketoacidosis, their pet's breath did NOT have any unusual odor. Treatment Mildly ketoacidotic animals can be alert and well hydrated. After your pet is stabilized, your pet can return home and be treated with proper diabetes management techniques including insulin therapy, diet, and exercise. "Sick" ketoacidotic animals require intensive medical management in the vet hospital. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires complex medical management and monitoring. It may take several days for the animal to be out of danger. Treatment involves injections of regular insulin, intravenous fluids, electrolytes, and frequent monitoring of blood glucose, blood chemistry, Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Cats

Diabetes In Cats

Diabetes Mellitus in Cats Diabetes in cats is most similar to type 2 diabetes in people: the blood sugar becomes elevated because the cat’s insulin is either ineffective or not produced in sufficient quantity. If not treated accordingly, it can become a life-threatening condition. Obese, middle-aged indoor male cats are most likely to develop diabetes, but it can happen to any cat at almost any age. There is the possibility that your cat will not need life-long insulin therapy, especially if diagnosed early and the blood sugar is stabilized quickly. What to Watch For Increased water consumption Increased urination, possibly urinating outside the litterbox Increased appetite (early stages) or loss of appetite (late stages) Weight loss Lethargy Vomiting Sometimes the cat will develop a plantigrade stance – that is, he will stand and walk with his hocks touching or nearly touching the ground. This is a form of diabetic neuropathy. If a diabetic cat goes untreated for long enough, it will develop ketoacidosis. Cats at this stage will not eat or drink, become dehydrated and more lethargic. Eventually they will slip into a coma and die if not treated immediately. Primary Cause of Diabetes in Cats The insulin produced by the cat is either insufficient or ineffective. Immediate Care It is important that you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect you cat has diabetes. In the meantime, let him have all the water he wants. Diagnosing Diabetes in Cats After a physical exam and discussion of your cat’s symptoms, your veterinarian will take blood and urine samples for testing. In addition to checking the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood and urine, your vet will be checking for evidence of other disease that have symptoms similar to diabetes, like kidne Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: Our Lifespan Sans Insulin?

Ask D'mine: Our Lifespan Sans Insulin?

Got questions about navigating life with diabetes? Ask D'Mine! Our weekly advice column, that is — hosted by veteran type 1,diabetes author and educator Wil Dubois. This week, Wil offers some thoughts on that universal question: "How long can I really go without insulin?" Please take a read; his findings might surprise you and even bust a myth or two. But as a precautionary reminder: this topic would fall into the category of "Don't try this at home"! {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Jake, type 1 from Minneapolis, writes: I've had diabetes for 18 years and I had someone ask me a question the other day that I didn't really have an answer to. The question was how long I would be able to survive without any insulin. I told them 3-4 days, but I don't know if this is true. Any info from a cinnamon whiskey swizzling T1? [email protected] D'Mine answers: If Tom Hanks' character in Castaway had been one of us, he would've never lived long enough to go half-crazy and end up talking to a volleyball named Wilson. OK, so that's a mixed blessing. But I guess the lesson there is: don't get washed up on a deserted island if you can avoid it. To be honest, like you, I had always pegged my zero-insulin survival time in the "couple of days" zone; but once I got to thinking about your question I realized that I didn't know how I knew that, where I learned it, or if it was even correct at all. So I set out to do some fact-checking. Now, as background for you sugar-normals, type 2s, and type 3s—in type 1s like Jake and me, if we run out of insulin hyperglycemia sets in. That leads to diabetic ketoacidosis (known as DKA by its friends), which then (untreated) leads to death. This is old news. But how fast is the process, really? Well, there are a number of variables, Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment & Management

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment & Management

Approach Considerations Managing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in an intensive care unit during the first 24-48 hours always is advisable. When treating patients with DKA, the following points must be considered and closely monitored: It is essential to maintain extreme vigilance for any concomitant process, such as infection, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, sepsis, or deep venous thrombosis. It is important to pay close attention to the correction of fluid and electrolyte loss during the first hour of treatment. This always should be followed by gradual correction of hyperglycemia and acidosis. Correction of fluid loss makes the clinical picture clearer and may be sufficient to correct acidosis. The presence of even mild signs of dehydration indicates that at least 3 L of fluid has already been lost. Patients usually are not discharged from the hospital unless they have been able to switch back to their daily insulin regimen without a recurrence of ketosis. When the condition is stable, pH exceeds 7.3, and bicarbonate is greater than 18 mEq/L, the patient is allowed to eat a meal preceded by a subcutaneous (SC) dose of regular insulin. Insulin infusion can be discontinued 30 minutes later. If the patient is still nauseated and cannot eat, dextrose infusion should be continued and regular or ultra–short-acting insulin should be administered SC every 4 hours, according to blood glucose level, while trying to maintain blood glucose values at 100-180 mg/dL. The 2011 JBDS guideline recommends the intravenous infusion of insulin at a weight-based fixed rate until ketosis has subsided. Should blood glucose fall below 14 mmol/L (250 mg/dL), 10% glucose should be added to allow for the continuation of fixed-rate insulin infusion. [19, 20] In established patient Continue reading >>

How Long Can A Person With Type 1 Diabetes Live With No Treatment?

How Long Can A Person With Type 1 Diabetes Live With No Treatment?

This will depend a great deal on two things: Is the person still in the honeymoon period? A person who is newly diabetic usually retains some insulin production. This can last for months or even years. Is the person aware that they are out of insulin? There are methods for mitigating (a little) the lack of insulin if one is aware of it. If a person is a long term diabetic with 0 insulin production and they are unaware that they are out of insulin so they continue to eat and drink like normal, they can fall into DKA (diabetic keto-acidosis) within 24 hours and without treatment death is likely within a few days. If said person still has SOME insulin production, then as soon as they stop consuming more carbs than their body can deal with, their situation may stabilize and while death is still likely, it can take months, or even a year or two. If a person has 0 insulin production and is AWARE of the lack of insulin, they will immediately stop consuming carbohydrates and begin drinking water in copious quantities. They will also begin exercising. Exercising will help reduce blood sugar to some extent, and drinking lots of fluids can help flush the ketones that cause DKA out. The person won’t be able to stave off death forever, but they will extend the amount of time it takes to fall into DKA and then die; but even then, you are probably talking about a matter of a week or three. If the person is in the honeymoon phase and still producing 10% or 20% of a normal person’s insulin, they may well be able to survive for years by radically reducing their carbohydrate intake and exercising regularly. But as their production of insulin drops, they will gradually have greater and greater problems until they too die. Continue reading >>

Canine Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Canine Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Canine diabetic ketoacidosis, sometimes known as DKA, is a potentially fatal disease that most commonly occurs in dogs with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, although in rare cases it has been known to appear in nondiabetic dogs. This condition symptomatically resembles that of diabetes but usually goes unnoticed until a near-fatal situation is at hand. For this reason, it is important to understand the causes, symptoms and treatment options. How Canine Diabetic Ketoacidosis Develops Under normal conditions, the pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, which helps to regulate the level of glucose in the blood cells. When the pancreas is ineffectively able to create enough insulin, a dog becomes diabetic. By default, a dog's body will begin looking for alternative fuel sources, such as fat. The problem is that when too much fat is consumed by the body, the liver then begins to produce ketones. This excessive level of ketones causes the condition known as canine diabetic ketoacidosis. There are two scenarios in which this can occur: in dogs with poorly controlled diabetes and in dogs with undiagnosed diabetes. Recognizing the Symptoms Because of the potentially deadly side effects, it is crucially important that dog owners be aware of the symptoms of canine diabetic ketoacidosis. One of the more common problems associated with this illness is the extreme similarity of the warning signs to a diabetic condition. While both conditions are harmful, canine diabetic ketoacidosis represents the last step taken by the body before it surrenders to the condition. The following are some of the recognizable symptoms of canine diabetic ketoacidosis: Drinking or urinating more than usual Sudden, excessive weight loss attributed to loss of appetite General fatigue Vomiting Sudden on Continue reading >>

‘i Was 26 And Most Type 1 Diabetics Are Diagnosed In Childhood': The Deadly Danger Too Many Diabetics Aren't Warned About

‘i Was 26 And Most Type 1 Diabetics Are Diagnosed In Childhood': The Deadly Danger Too Many Diabetics Aren't Warned About

Hannah Postles discovered she had type 1 diabetes after going to A&E with blurred vision. It wasn’t her only symptom. For the previous three weeks, she’d been thirsty, drinking two bottles of water at lunch, had lost weight and felt run down. Scroll down for video ‘My boss suggested I might have diabetes after looking up my symptoms online, but my GP seemed to dismiss it because of my age,’ says Hannah, a press officer for the University of Sheffield. ‘I was 26 and most type 1 diabetics are diagnosed in childhood.’ Luckily, Hannah spoke to a doctor friend who told her to go to A&E, where she was tested for diabetes, and immediately put on an insulin drip. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make insulin, the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood. Typically, people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed around the age of 12 — although occasionally adults are diagnosed in later life. Type 2 diabetes, which can be diagnosed at any age, occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin itself does not work properly. Not only did Hannah have diabetes, her blood sugar levels were so out of control by the time she was diagnosed that she had developed diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition when blood glucose levels remain persistently high for days or weeks. The condition can be caused by illness or infection or by the mismanagement of diabetes — which, as Hannah, now 29, discovered, can be the result of not knowing you have it. Symptoms include vomiting, headaches, abdominal pain and, if left too long, coma and even death. Had Hannah not gone to A&E, she might have died. In July 2012, new mother Nicky Rigby, 26, from the Wirral, did die from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. She’d assumed her chronic tiredness a Continue reading >>

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