Diabetic Ketoacidosis Workup
Approach Considerations Diabetic ketoacidosis is typically characterized by hyperglycemia over 250 mg/dL, a bicarbonate level less than 18 mEq/L, and a pH less than 7.30, with ketonemia and ketonuria. While definitions vary, mild DKA can be categorized by a pH level of 7.25-7.3 and a serum bicarbonate level between 15-18 mEq/L; moderate DKA can be categorized by a pH between 7.0-7.24 and a serum bicarbonate level of 10 to less than 15 mEq/L; and severe DKA has a pH less than 7.0 and bicarbonate less than 10 mEq/L.  In mild DKA, anion gap is greater than 10 and in moderate or severe DKA the anion gap is greater than 12. These figures differentiate DKA from HHS where blood glucose is greater than 600 mg/dL but pH is greater than 7.3 and serum bicarbonate greater than 15 mEq/L. Laboratory studies for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) should be scheduled as follows: Repeat laboratory tests are critical, including potassium, glucose, electrolytes, and, if necessary, phosphorus. Initial workup should include aggressive volume, glucose, and electrolyte management. It is important to be aware that high serum glucose levels may lead to dilutional hyponatremia; high triglyceride levels may lead to factitious low glucose levels; and high levels of ketone bodies may lead to factitious elevation of creatinine levels. Continue reading >>
show all detail Diagnostic Tests 1st Tests To Order Test Result plasma glucose To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In elevated ABG To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In pH varies from 7.00 to 7.30 in DKA; arterial bicarbonate ranges from <10 mEq/L in severe DKA to >15 mEq/L in mild DKA capillary or serum ketones To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In beta-hydroxybutyrate elevated ≥3.8 mmol/L in adults or ≥3.0 mmol/L in children U/A To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In positive for glucose and ketones; positive for leukocytes and nitrites in the presence of infection serum BUN To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In elevated serum creatinine To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In elevated serum sodium To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In usually low serum potassium To access clinical pearls and in-depth diagnosis and treatment information, sign up for a FREE Epocrates Online account. Sign Up Now! Current Members - Sign In usually el Continue reading >>
Blood Gas Measurements In Dka: Are We Searching For A Unicorn?
Introduction Recently there have been numerous publications and discussions about whether VBGs can replace ABGs in DKA. The growing consensus is that VBGs are indeed adequate. Eliminating painful, time-consuming arterial blood draws is a huge step in the right direction. However, the ABG vs. VBG debate overlooks a larger point: neither ABG nor VBG measurements are usually helpful. It is widely recommended to routinely obtain an ABG or VBG, for example by both American and British guidelines. Why? Is it helping our patients, or is it something that we do out of a sense of habit or obligation? Diagnosis of DKA: Blood gas doesn’t help These are the diagnostic criteria for DKA from the America Diabetes Association. They utilize either pH or bicarbonate in a redundant fashion to quantify the severity of acidosis. It is unclear what independent information the pH adds beyond what is provided by the bicarbonate. Practically speaking, the blood gas doesn’t help diagnose DKA. This diagnosis should be based on analysis of the metabolic derangements in the acid-base status (e.g. anion gap, beta-hydroxybutyrate level). The addition of a blood gas to serum chemistries only adds information about the respiratory status, which does not help determine if the patient has ketoacidosis. Management: Does the pH help? It is debatable whether knowing or attempting to directly “treat” the pH is helpful. The pH will often be very low, usually lower than would be expected by looking at the patient. This may induce panic. However, it is actually a useful reminder that acidemia itself doesn't necessarily cause instability (e.g. healthy young rowers may experience lactic acidosis with a pH <7 during athletic exertion; Volianitis 2001). A question often arises regarding whether bicarbonate 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 >>
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 >>
Diagnosis Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
diagnostic criteria The diagnostic criteria for diabetic ketoacidosis are: 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 venous bicarbonate (HCO3 ) ) below 15 mmol /l and /or venous pH less than 7.3 (1) The American Diabetes Association diagnostic criteria for DKA are as follows: elevated serum glucose level (greater than 250 mg per dL [13.88 mmol per L]) an elevated serum ketone level a pH less than 7.3 and a serum bicarbonate level less than 18 mEq per L (18 mmol per L) (2) classification of diabetic ketoacidosis DKA can be classified according to the severity into mild, moderate and severe (2) criterion mild (serum glucose > 250 mg/dL [13.88 mmol/L]) moderate (serum glucose > 250 mg/dL) severe (serum glucose > 250 mg/dL) anion gap > 10 mEq/L (10 mmol/L) > 12 mEq/L (12 mmol/L) > 12 mEq/L (12 mmol/L) arterial pH 7.24 to 7.30 7.00 to < 7.24 < 7.00 effective serum osmolality variable variable variable mental status alert alert/drowsy stupor/coma serum bicarbonate 15 to 18 mEq/L (15 to 18 mmol/L) 10 to < 15 mEq/L (10 to < 15 mmol/L) < 10 mEq/L (10 mmol/L) serum ketone positive positive positive urine ketone positive positive positive Reference: 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 >>
With What Diet Can I Lose A Lot Of Weight Fast?
Look, almost any diet will make you lose weight. But what are you going to do when you’re finished with them? If you’re like most people, you’ll fall back on your old habits—the same ones that made you fat in the first place. That’s why most diets end in failure. It’s not that they’re ineffective—although some are complete rubbish; it’s that they’re a temporary answer to a semi-permanent problem. Here’s what you need to find out: what’s the healthiest form of food consumption you can enjoy for the rest of your life? Maybe you like veganism? Or paleo, or keto, or whatever. Perhaps you don’t end up in any diet camp and instead create your own habits. That’s great too. But here’s what matters for right now: if you want to lose weight, then you must consume food at a caloric deficit. This means eating less calories than you burn. I lost eighty pounds a number of years ago. About fifty to sixty pounds of that came without any exercise; I simply ate at a caloric deficit and tracked everything on MyFitnessPal—an online food journal with a mobile app. Similar stories can be found daily on forums like Reddit’s /r/loseit. You can literally achieve this eating junk food. (although I don’t recommend it!) A professor at Kansas State University lost 27lbs in 2 months eating Twinkies, chips, Oreos, and other junk. More recently, I lost 6lbs after eating exclusively at gas stations for 30 days. I traveled across 9 states and visited more than 200 stores—all in an effort to prove that you can “eat out” and still be healthy. But to be fair, the convenience store industry is working hard to make healthful food available on-the-go. Finding fruit, veggies, and good made-to-order options was easier than I thought it would be. So here’s the point: d Continue reading >>
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State
Go to: Pathogenesis In both DKA and HHS, the underlying metabolic abnormality results from the combination of absolute or relative insulin deficiency and increased amounts of counterregulatory hormones. Glucose and lipid metabolism When insulin is deficient, the elevated levels of glucagon, catecholamines and cortisol will stimulate hepatic glucose production through increased glycogenolysis and enhanced gluconeogenesis4 (Fig. 1). Hypercortisolemia will result in increased proteolysis, thus providing amino acid precursors for gluconeogenesis. Low insulin and high catecholamine concentrations will reduce glucose uptake by peripheral tissues. The combination of elevated hepatic glucose production and decreased peripheral glucose use is the main pathogenic disturbance responsible for hyperglycemia in DKA and HHS. The hyperglycemia will lead to glycosuria, osmotic diuresis and dehydration. This will be associated with decreased kidney perfusion, particularly in HHS, that will result in decreased glucose clearance by the kidney and thus further exacerbation of the hyperglycemia. In DKA, the low insulin levels combined with increased levels of catecholamines, cortisol and growth hormone will activate hormone-sensitive lipase, which will cause the breakdown of triglycerides and release of free fatty acids. The free fatty acids are taken up by the liver and converted to ketone bodies that are released into the circulation. The process of ketogenesis is stimulated by the increase in glucagon levels.5 This hormone will activate carnitine palmitoyltransferase I, an enzyme that allows free fatty acids in the form of coenzyme A to cross mitochondrial membranes after their esterification into carnitine. On the other side, esterification is reversed by carnitine palmitoyltransferase I Continue reading >>
Will Obese People Starve To Death Before Their Fat Runs Out?
Treating obesity by total starvation is not advised as it can be very dangerous. There are many reports of total starvation leading to death. Some people have died of heart failure during the fast. Some people have died during the re-feeding period after the fast from lactic acidosis. There was a case of a successful medically managed fast in Scotland in 1965. A 27-year-old man weighing 207 kilograms, described as "grossly obese" turned up at the Department of Medicine at the Royal Infirmary in Dundee. He said he was sick of being fat and wanted to lose weight by eating nothing and living off his body fat. Doctors advised against this but told them he was going to fast flat out, whatever they said, so they may as well monitor him along the way. The staff gave him yeast tablets, multi-vitamins and essential minerals. Potassium is essential for the proper working of the heart, and when his potassium levels got a little low around the 100-day mark, he was given potassium tablets for about 70 days. He defecated infrequently, roughly every 40 to 50 days. He ended up fasting for one year and 17 days. Apart from water and the vitamin and mineral supplements he lived entirely off his copious body fat. He lost about 125 kilograms of weight over 382 days. Link below to paper about the case from BMJ Publishing Group: Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days' duration: Continue reading >>
Alcoholic ketoacidosis is a metabolic complication of alcohol use and starvation characterized by hyperketonemia and anion gap metabolic acidosis without significant hyperglycemia. Alcoholic ketoacidosis causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Diagnosis is by history and findings of ketoacidosis without hyperglycemia. Treatment is IV saline solution and dextrose infusion. Alcoholic ketoacidosis is attributed to the combined effects of alcohol and starvation on glucose metabolism. Alcohol diminishes hepatic gluconeogenesis and leads to decreased insulin secretion, increased lipolysis, impaired fatty acid oxidation, and subsequent ketogenesis, causing an elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis. Counter-regulatory hormones are increased and may further inhibit insulin secretion. Plasma glucose levels are usually low or normal, but mild hyperglycemia sometimes occurs. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion; similar symptoms in an alcoholic patient may result from acute pancreatitis, methanol or ethylene glycol poisoning, or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In patients suspected of having alcoholic ketoacidosis, serum electrolytes (including magnesium), BUN and creatinine, glucose, ketones, amylase, lipase, and plasma osmolality should be measured. Urine should be tested for ketones. Patients who appear significantly ill and those with positive ketones should have arterial blood gas and serum lactate measurement. The absence of hyperglycemia makes DKA improbable. Those with mild hyperglycemia may have underlying diabetes mellitus, which may be recognized by elevated levels of glycosylated Hb (HbA1c). Typical laboratory findings include a high anion gap metabolic acidosis, ketonemia, and low levels of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Detection of acidosis may be com Continue reading >>
What Does A Doctor Do When A Patient Comes In For An Exam And Smells Really Bad?
I was a doctor in China, and grew up in a hospital because my father is a doctor too. (in the old days, the government run organizations usually have apartments for their employees, :) don't know if it's a good part of this communist country, at least you don't need to buy a house and maintain it, just kidding) So part of my childhood is weird compared to other kids.I usually did my homework with my father’s nurse in a small room next to my father’s office. I saw many things, people came here in a very severe health situation, people died here leaving their crying families alone. The most in my memory is crying, you can hear that everywhere in a hospital. About smell, I don't think they have time to think about this. Then, as a doctor, I don't care about that too. When I pick my friends or I teach my kids, an important thing is to “respect others”, that means I want them to be “appropriate” in normal life ( I don't know if I use this word correctly, English is not my native language) including a well dress style and being clean. But, a patient, not “normal”, sometimes they can't take a shower because they are very sick, sometimes they forgot taking a shower because they are too old, since they almost forget everything, how could you expect they still remember to shower? Sometimes they can't control pee or incontinece of fecal. I feel sorry for them, I lost my grandma before and I know “keep yourself alive” is the most important thing that time, smell, who cares? And, I have the “smell” sometimes too. When I have my babies, because of the surgery, I can not take a shower for several days, and I really sweat a lot. The doctors and the nurses, they are so nice. They help me changing my cloths many times a day and never a look on their faces sort of Continue reading >>
Can Serum Β-hydroxybutyrate Be Used To Diagnose Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Abstract OBJECTIVE—Current criteria for the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are limited by their nonspecificity (serum bicarbonate [HCO3] and pH) and qualitative nature (the presence of ketonemia/ketonuria). The present study was undertaken to determine whether quantitative measurement of a ketone body anion could be used to diagnose DKA. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—A retrospective review of records from hospitalized diabetic patients was undertaken to determine the concentration of serum β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) that corresponds to a HCO3 level of 18 mEq/l, the threshold value for diagnosis in recently published consensus criteria. Simultaneous admission βOHB and HCO3 values were recorded from 466 encounters, 129 in children and 337 in adults. RESULTS—A HCO3 level of 18 mEq/l corresponded with βOHB levels of 3.0 and 3.8 mmol/l in children and adults, respectively. With the use of these threshold βOHB values to define DKA, there was substantial discordance (∼≥20%) between βOHB and conventional diagnostic criteria using HCO3, pH, and glucose. In patients with DKA, there was no correlation between HCO3 and glucose levels on admission and a significant but weak correlation between βOHB and glucose levels (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS—Where available, serum βOHB levels ≥3.0 and ≥3.8 mmol/l in children and adults, respectively, in the presence of uncontrolled diabetes can be used to diagnose DKA and may be superior to the serum HCO3 level for that purpose. The marked variability in the relationship between βOHB and HCO3 is probably due to the presence of other acid-base disturbances, especially hyperchloremic, nonanion gap acidosis. Recently published consensus criteria for diagnosing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) include a serum bicarbonate (HCO3) Continue reading >>
Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs
My dog is diabetic. He has been doing pretty well overall, but recently he became really ill. He stopped eating well, started drinking lots of water, and got really weak. His veterinarian said that he had a condition called “ketoacidosis,” and he had to spend several days in the hospital. I’m not sure I understand this disorder. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency that occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. The body can’t use glucose properly without insulin, so blood glucose levels get very high, and the body creates ketone bodies as an emergency fuel source. When these are broken down, it creates byproducts that cause the body’s acid/base balance to shift, and the body becomes more acidic (acidosis), and it can’t maintain appropriate fluid balance. The electrolyte (mineral) balance becomes disrupted which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and abnormal muscle function. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis is fatal. How could this disorder have happened? If a diabetic dog undergoes a stress event of some kind, the body secretes stress hormones that interfere with appropriate insulin activity. Examples of stress events that can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis include infection, inflammation, and heart disease. What are the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Excessive thirst/drinking Increased urination Lethargy Weakness Vomiting Increased respiratory rate Decreased appetite Weight loss (unplanned) with muscle wasting Dehydration Unkempt haircoat These same clinical signs can occur with other medical conditions, so it is important for your veterinarian to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to determine if diabetic ketoacidosis in truly the issue at hand Continue reading >>
Delayed Diagnosis Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Children—a Cause For Concern
Abstract Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the major cause for mortality in children with diabetes mellitus (DM). Delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis is common among children with DKA. This study was undertaken to identify the impact of delayed diagnosis on clinical presentation, complications, and mortality of DKA in children from a tertiary care center at Chennai. Among the 118 episodes of DKA in 100 children less than 12 years of age, delayed diagnosis was more common in new onset diabetes mellitus (DM). Forty-four out of 68 children with new onset DM with DKA (64.7 %) had delayed diagnosis. Thirty-two children with established diabetes presented with 50 episodes of DKA. Among these, eight episodes (16 %) had a delay in diagnosis; 85.7 % of infants, 76.9 % of toddlers, and 58 % of the preschool and school children had delayed diagnosis. Urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, vomiting, febrile illness, acute abdomen, and encephalopathy were the common diagnosis in children where DKA was missed. The causes for delay in diagnosis and management of DKA were lack of parental and physician awareness, improper referral, and delayed transport. Presence of shock, altered sensorium, severe DKA, lower PaCO2 at admission, and complications like renal failure and cerebral edema were higher in children with delayed diagnosis of DKA. This was found to be statistically significant. Delayed diagnosis was a significant risk factor for mortality in children with DKA (p = 0.00) in this study population. Continue reading >>