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How To Prevent Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

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 >>

How To Avoid Diabetic Ketoacidosis

How To Avoid Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a possible complication of diabetes caused by extreme hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose. It is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication, one that you should work hard to avoid when you have diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but it is a very rare possible complication for people with type 2 diabetes. Your doctor and certified diabetes educator will teach you how to recognize and manage diabetic ketoacidosis. It's critical to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of DKA, as well as how to treat it. What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when your blood glucose level gets too high—usually higher than 300 mg/dL. Because people with type 1 diabetes do not have the insulin to process this extra glucose, their body cannot break down this glucose to create energy. To create energy for itself, the body starts to aggressively break down fat. Ketones or ketoacids are a byproduct of this process. Your body can handle a small amount of ketones circulating in your blood. However, the sizeable amounts from DKA are toxic. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Causes Illness, infections, stress, injuries, neglecting diabetes care (not properly taking your insulin, for example), and alcohol consumption can cause DKA. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms Initial symptoms of DKA include a stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting. One problem with DKA is that people could mistake it for an illness that typically gets better over time like the flu or food poisoning. Other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: fruity breath (when fat is broken down by the body, it creates a chemical called acetone that smells fruity) fatigue frequent urination intense thirst headache If you feel any of these sympto Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition that can occur in diabetes. DKA happens when acidic substances, called ketones, build up in your body. Ketones are formed when your body burns fat for fuel instead of sugar, or glucose. That can happen if you don’t have enough insulin in your body to help you process sugars. Learn more: Ketosis vs. ketoacidosis: What you should know » Left untreated, ketones can build up to dangerous levels. DKA can occur in people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but it’s rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA can also develop if you are at risk for diabetes, but have not received a formal diagnosis. It can be the first sign of type 1 diabetes. DKA is a medical emergency. Call your local emergency services immediately if you think you are experiencing DKA. Symptoms of DKA can appear quickly and may include: frequent urination extreme thirst high blood sugar levels high levels of ketones in the urine nausea or vomiting abdominal pain confusion fruity-smelling breath a flushed face fatigue rapid breathing dry mouth and skin It is important to make sure you consult with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. If left untreated, DKA can lead to a coma or death. All people who use insulin should discuss the risk of DKA with their healthcare team, to make sure a plan is in place. If you think you are experiencing DKA, seek immediate medical help. Learn more: Blood glucose management: Checking for ketones » If you have type 1 diabetes, you should maintain a supply of home urine ketone tests. You can use these to test your ketone levels. A high ketone test result is a symptom of DKA. If you have type 1 diabetes and have a glucometer reading of over 250 milligrams per deciliter twice, you should test your urine for keton Continue reading >>

What Is The Origin/mechanism Of Abdominal Pain In Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

What Is The Origin/mechanism Of Abdominal Pain In Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Other than all papers I could find citing the depth of the keto-acidosis (and not the height of the blood glucose levels) correlating with abdominal pain, nothing else to explain how these two are linked. Decades ago, I was taught that because of the keto-acidosis causing a shift of intracellular potassium (having been exchanged for H+ protons of which in keto-acidosis there were too many of in the extracellular fluid) to the extracellular, so also the blood compartment, resulting in hyperkalemia, paralyzing the stomach, which could become grossly dilated - that’s why we often put in a nasogastric drainage tube to prevent vomiting and aspiration - and thus cause “stomach pain”. This stomach pain in the majority of cases indeed went away after the keto-acidosis was treated and serum electrolyte levels normalized. In one patient it didn’t, she remained very, very metabolically acidotic, while blood glucose levels normalized, later we found her to have a massive and fatal intestinal infarction as the underlying reason for her keto-acidosis….. Continue reading >>

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>

How To Treat Ketoacidosis

How To Treat Ketoacidosis

Immediately drink a large amount of non-caloric or low caloric fluid. Continue to drink 8 to 12 oz. every 30 minutes. Diluted Gatorade, water with Nu-Salt™ and similar fluids are good because they help restore potassium lost because of high blood sugars. Take larger-than-normal correction boluses every 3 hours until the blood sugar is below 200 mg/dl (11 mmol) and ketones are negative. It will take much more rapid insulin than normal to bring blood sugars down when ketones are present in the urine or blood. Often, one and a half to two times the normal insulin dose for a high blood sugar will be necessary. Higher insulin doses than these will be needed if there is an infection or other major stress. If nausea becomes severe or last 4 hours or more, call your physician. If vomiting starts or you can no longer drink fluids, have a friend or family member call your physician immediately, then go directly to an emergency room for treatment. Never omit your insulin, even if you cannot eat. A reduced insulin dose might be needed, but only if your blood sugar is currently low. When high blood sugars or ketoacidosis happen, it is critical that you drink lots of fluid to prevent dehydration. Take extra amounts of Humalog, Novolog or Regular insulin to bring the blood sugars down. Children with severe ketoacidosis lose 10-15 % of their previous body weight (i.e., a 60 lb. child can lose 6 to 9 lbs. of weight) due to severe dehydration. Replacement of fluids should be monitored carefully. The dehydration is caused by excess urination due to high blood sugars and is quickly worsened when vomiting starts due to the ketoacidosis. The start of vomiting requires immediate attention at an ER or hospital where IV fluid replacement can begin. If only nausea is present and it is possible Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Print Overview Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can't produce enough insulin. Insulin normally plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) — a major source of energy for your muscles and other tissues — enter your cells. Without enough insulin, your body begins to break down fat as fuel. This process produces a buildup of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, eventually leading to diabetic ketoacidosis if untreated. If you have diabetes or you're at risk of diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. Symptoms Diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms often develop quickly, sometimes within 24 hours. For some, these signs and symptoms may be the first indication of having diabetes. You may notice: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Nausea and vomiting Abdominal pain Weakness or fatigue Shortness of breath Fruity-scented breath Confusion More-specific signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — which can be detected through home blood and urine testing kits — include: High blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) High ketone levels in your urine When to see a doctor If you feel ill or stressed or you've had a recent illness or injury, check your blood sugar level often. You might also try an over-the-counter urine ketones testing kit. Contact your doctor immediately if: You're vomiting and unable to tolerate food or liquid Your blood sugar level is higher than your target range and doesn't respond to home treatment Your urine ketone level is moderate or high Seek emergency care if: Your blood sugar level is consistently higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 16.7 mill Continue reading >>

How To Prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis

How To Prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetes, if not properly managed, can have nasty consequences, including vision loss, amputations, heart disease and stroke or kidney failure. Diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, is another one of those consequences, according to Dr. Linda Hermiller, an endocrinologist and diabetes expert at St. Elizabeth’s Regional Diabetes Center in Covington. Diabetes causes blood sugar levels to climb too high because the body either can’t make insulin in order to break down the sugar from food to fuel cell activity (Type 1 diabetes) or because the body can’t properly utilize the insulin it does have (Type 2). Over time, excessively high blood sugar levels lead to a host of complications. What is DKA? DKA occurs when the body starts breaking down stored fat for fuel because it can’t utilize insulin to break down sugar. When fat is metabolized, it produces chemicals called ketones that build up in the blood, and those ketones cause the blood to become acidic. High ketone levels are an indication that diabetes isn’t being properly managed. They’re also extremely dangerous. DKA, if not recognized and treated quickly, can be fatal, according to Dr. Hermiller. “DKA is an acute metabolic emergency that more commonly happens in patients with Type 1 diabetes, but in unique situations may occur in those with Type 2,” Dr. Hermiller said. Common causes of DKA In many cases, people develop DKA after a stomach bug or other illness; sometimes it occurs when people aren’t taking their insulin as directed, or they aren’t taking enough insulin, she said. Blood sugar levels rise sharply, and the body begins producing ketones. The best way to prevent DKA is good diabetes management, including checking blood sugar frequently. Guidelines call for checking for ketones in the urine (you ca Continue reading >>

How Dka Happens And What To Do About It

How Dka Happens And What To Do About It

Certified Diabetes Educator Gary Scheiner offers an overview of diabetic ketoacidosis. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition in which the blood becomes highly acidic as a result of dehydration and excessive ketone (acid) production. When bodily fluids become acidic, some of the body’s systems stop functioning properly. It is a serious condition that will make you violently ill and it can kill you. The primary cause of DKA is a lack of working insulin in the body. Most of the body’s cells burn primarily sugar (glucose) for energy. Many cells also burn fat, but in much smaller amounts. Glucose happens to be a very “clean” form of energy—there are virtually no waste products left over when you burn it up. Fat, on the other hand, is a “dirty” source of energy. When fat is burned, there are waste products produced. These waste products are called “ketones.” Ketones are acid molecules that can pollute the bloodstream and affect the body’s delicate pH balance if produced in large quantities. Luckily, we don’t tend to burn huge amounts of fat at one time, and the ketones that are produced can be broken down during the process of glucose metabolism. Glucose and ketones can “jump into the fire” together. It is important to have an ample supply of glucose in the body’s cells. That requires two things: sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream, and insulin to shuttle the sugar into the cells. A number of things would start to go wrong if you have no insulin in the bloodstream: Without insulin, glucose cannot get into the body’s cells. As a result, the cells begin burning large amounts of fat for energy. This, of course, Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

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 >>

How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?

How Many Carbs Should I Eat To Prevent Ketosis?

When you’re on a low-carb diet, your body kicks into action, breaking down fats into ketone bodies to use for energy. This increase in ketones -- called ketosis -- is a normal adaptation to cutting carbs. In fact, the switch to ketosis is why low-carb diets work. Even though you could eat enough carbs to prevent ketosis, it's important to clarify why you want to avoid it. There's nothing unhealthy about ketosis, so you may just need to correct any misinformation to make the best decision for your weight-loss goals. Video of the Day Deal With Concerns Over Ketosis Ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is unfortunate -- ketosis is normal, while ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition related to type 1 diabetes. Most people on a low-carb diet tolerate ketosis without any problems. Then after the pounds are dropped, carb intake is gradually increased so you're out of ketosis by the time you reach the maintenance phase. If you decide to stay in an induction phase longer than the low-carb plan recommends, consult your doctor to be safe. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing ketoacidosis from lack of insulin. Due to the complex metabolism of diabetes, they end up with high levels of blood glucose and ketones, which upsets the body's normal acid-base balance. When that happens, ketosis becomes ketoacidosis, causing symptoms like thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, nausea, belly pain, rapid breathing and fruity-smelling breath. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor immediately -- diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. You may be wary about ketosis because you've heard about "ketosis flu." It's not really flu, but in the first few days or weeks of a low-carb diet, some people experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation or wea Continue reading >>

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis When looking at a ketogenic diet and ketosis, it’s common for some people to confuse the process with a harmful, more extreme version of this state known as diabetic ketoacidosis. But there are a lot of misconceptions out there about ketosis vs ketoacidosis, and it’s time to shed some light on the subject by looking at the (very big) differences between the two. An Overview of Ketosis A ketogenic, or keto, diet is centered around the process of ketosis, so it’s important to understand exactly what ketosis is first before we get into whether or not it’s safe (spoiler: it is): Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the default function of the body, so if glucose is available, the body will use that first. But during ketosis, the body is using ketones instead of glucose. This is an amazing survival adaptation by the body for handling periods of famine or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything else that leaves the body without enough glucose for fuel. Those eating a ketogenic diet purposely limit their carb intake (usually between 20 and 50 grams per day) to facilitate this response. That’s why the keto diet focuses on very low carb intake, moderate to low protein intake, and high intakes of dietary fats. Lower protein is important because it prevents the body from pulling your lean muscle mass for energy and instead turns to fat. Ketone bodies are released during ketosis and are created by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are then used by the body to power all of its biggest organs, including the brain, and they have many benefits for the body we’ll get into later. But first, let’s address a common mi Continue reading >>

What Is Ketoacidosis? A Comprehensive Guide

What Is Ketoacidosis? A Comprehensive Guide

Ketoacidosis is lethal. It is responsible for over 100,000 hospital admissions per year in the US with a mortality rate of around 5%. In other words, ketoacidosis is to blame for about 5,000 deaths per year. The cause? A deadly combination of uncontrolled hyperglycemia, metabolic acidosis, and increased ketone body levels in the blood (more on this deadly combination later). Luckily, this lethal triad rarely affects individuals who don’t have diabetes. However, the majority (80%) of cases of diabetic ketoacidosis occur in people with a known history of diabetes mellitus (any form of diabetes). Ketoacidosis vs. Diabetic Ketoacidosis — What’s The Difference? At this point, you may have noticed that I used ketoacidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis interchangeably. This is because it is difficult for the body to get into a state of ketoacidosis without the blood sugar control issues that are common in people with diabetes. Hence, the term diabetic ketoacidosis. (However, there is another form of ketoacidosis called alcoholic ketoacidosis. This occurs in alcoholics who had a recent alcohol binge during a period of time when they didn’t eat enough.) Ketoacidosis tends to occur the most in people who have type 1 diabetes. Somewhere between 5 and 8 of every 1,000 people with type 1 diabetes develops diabetic ketoacidosis each year. Type 2 diabetics also run the risk of ketoacidosis under stressful situations, but it is much rarer because type 2 diabetics have some remaining insulin production (type 1 diabetics do not). If you are not part of the 422 million people worldwide that have diabetes, your risk of getting ketoacidosis is negligible. You would have to put yourself through years of stress, inactivity, and unhealthy eating habits before you experience ketoacidosis. ( Continue reading >>

A Novel Approach To Preventing Diabetic Ketoacidosis In A Patient Treated With An Insulin Pump

A Novel Approach To Preventing Diabetic Ketoacidosis In A Patient Treated With An Insulin Pump

A 56-year-old man with brittle type 1 diabetes and unaware of the effects of hypoglycemia was started on a continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) in April 2000. After 12 months, he achieved excellent glycemic control, and his HbA1c values averaged 6.5%. During this time, however, the patient required admission to the hospital on four separate occasions for diabetic ketoacidosis despite frequent self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG) (six to eight times per day) and frequent catheter insertion site changes. The patient insisted that he administered subcutaneous injections, as directed, when there was any question of pump dysfunction. Medical teams noted that the patient developed diabetic ketoacidosis very rapidly on several occasions. During one admission, he reported an SMBG value of 99 mg/dl at 10:00 a.m. Within 95 min, the patient was brought to the emergency room with a glucose level of 510 mg/dl and an anion gap of 35 mmol/l. Because of the frequent episodes of diabetic ketoacidosis, the patient’s insulin therapy was switched from CSII to multiple daily insulin injections. However, the patient preferred CSII therapy for the quality-of-life benefits provided by the insulin pump, particularly the greater flexibility in meal planning, fewer subcutaneous injections, and less frequent hypoglycemic episodes. To accommodate the patient’s wishes and prevent diabetic ketoacidosis, we devised the following treatment strategy. Sixty percent of basal insulin was provided by a daily injection of glargine insulin, and his bolus requirements were provided by the insulin pump. The basal rate of the pump was programmed for 0.2 units/h to prevent the insulin from crystallizing within the catheter. After 18 months, the patient has experienced no further episodes of diabetic Continue reading >>

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