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Hyperglycemia Ketoacidosis Symptoms

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

Blood sugar levels that are too high (hyperglycemia) can quickly turn into a diabetic emergency without quick and appropriate treatment. The best way to avoid dangerously high blood sugar levels is to self-test to stay in tune with your body, and to stay attuned to the symptoms and risk factors for hyperglycemia. Extremely high blood sugar levels can lead to one of two conditions—diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS; also called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma). Although both syndromes can occur in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, DKA is more common in type 1, and HHNS is more common in type 2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Ketoacidosis (or DKA) occurs when blood sugars become elevated (over 249 mg/dl, or 13.9 mmol/l) over a period of time and the body begins to burn fat for energy, resulting in ketone bodies in the blood or urine (a phenomenon called ketosis). A variety of factors can cause hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), including failure to take medication or insulin, stress, dietary changes without medication adjustments, eating disorders, and illness or injury. This last cause is important, because if illness brings on DKA, it may slip by unnoticed, since its symptoms can mimic the flu (aches, vomiting, etc.). In fact, people with type 1 diabetes are often seeking help for the flu-like symptoms of DKA when they first receive their diagnosis. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: fruity (acetone) breath nausea and/or vomiting abdominal pain dry, warm skin confusion fatigue breathing problems excessive thirst frequent urination in extreme cases, loss of consciousness DKA is a medical emergency, and requires prompt and immediate treatment. A simple over-the-counter urine dipstick test (e.g., Keto Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Definition Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous complication of diabetes mellitus in which the chemical balance of the body becomes far too acidic. Description Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) always results from a severe insulin deficiency. Insulin is the hormone secreted by the body to lower the blood sugar levels when they become too high. Diabetes mellitus is the disease resulting from the inability of the body to produce or respond properly to insulin, required by the body to convert glucose to energy. In childhood diabetes, DKA complications represent the leading cause of death, mostly due to the accumulation of abnormally large amounts of fluid in the brain (cerebral edema). DKA combines three major features: hyperglycemia, meaning excessively high blood sugar kevels; hyperketonemia, meaning an overproduction of ketones by the body; and acidosis, meaning that the blood has become too acidic. Insulin deficiency is responsible for all three conditions: the body glucose goes largely unused since most cells are unable to transport glucose into the cell without the presence of insulin; this condition makes the body use stored fat as an alternative source instead of the unavailable glucose for energy, a process that produces acidic ketones, which build up because they require insulin to be broken down. The presence of excess ketones in the bloodstream in turn causes the blood to become more acidic than the body tissues, which creates a toxic condition. Causes and symptoms DKA is most commonly seen in individuals with type I diabetes, under 19 years of age and is usually caused by the interruption of their insulin treatment or by acute infection or trauma. A small number of people with type II diabetes also experience ketoacidosis, but this is rare give Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a buildup of acids in your blood. It can happen when your blood sugar is too high for too long. It could be life-threatening, but it usually takes many hours to become that serious. You can treat it and prevent it, too. It usually happens because your body doesn't have enough insulin. Your cells can't use the sugar in your blood for energy, so they use fat for fuel instead. Burning fat makes acids called ketones and, if the process goes on for a while, they could build up in your blood. That excess can change the chemical balance of your blood and throw off your entire system. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for ketoacidosis, since their bodies don't make any insulin. Your ketones can also go up when you miss a meal, you're sick or stressed, or you have an insulin reaction. DKA can happen to people with type 2 diabetes, but it's rare. If you have type 2, especially when you're older, you're more likely to have a condition with some similar symptoms called HHNS (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome). It can lead to severe dehydration. Test your ketones when your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dL or you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as dry mouth, feeling really thirsty, or peeing a lot. You can check your levels with a urine test strip. Some glucose meters measure ketones, too. Try to bring your blood sugar down, and check your ketones again in 30 minutes. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if that doesn't work, if you have any of the symptoms below and your ketones aren't normal, or if you have more than one symptom. You've been throwing up for more than 2 hours. You feel queasy or your belly hurts. Your breath smells fruity. You're tired, confused, or woozy. You're having a hard time breathing. Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemic Crises

Hyperglycemic Crises

What They Are and How to Avoid Them One type results in about 100,000 hospitalizations a year with a mortality rate of under 5%. The other is thought to cause fewer hospitalizations, yet the mortality rate is about 15%. Severe hyperglycemic conditions, known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS), involve very serious imbalances in blood chemistry and usually require that a person be hospitalized until normal blood chemistry is restored. Because they can occur in anyone with diabetes, everyone should know what causes them, how to prevent them, how they are treated, and when to seek medical attention. The body in balance Glucose metabolism is a complex balancing act. In people who don’t have diabetes, a number of interconnected processes help the body to use glucose and keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. The body constantly balances glucose extracted from foods and produced by the liver with glucose utilization by the body’s tissues. When there is ample glucose in the bloodstream, the liver converts some of it into glycogen for storage. When the body needs more energy, such as during a prolonged period of fasting or activity, the liver converts stored glycogen back into glucose so that it can be used by the body’s tissues. The liver also can create glucose from amino acids and fats. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels both by slowing down the liver’s glucose production and by helping the body’s tissues to use glucose for energy. If the blood glucose level goes too low, other hormones, called counterregulatory hormones, work against the action of insulin to raise blood glucose levels. These hormones include glucagon, epinephrine, growth hormone, and cortisol. All work by prodding the liver to release glucose and by Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes (both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes) and prediabetes. Other conditions that can cause hyperglycemia are pancreatitis, Cushing's syndrome, unusual hormone-secreting tumors, pancreatic cancer, certain medications, and severe illnesses. The main symptoms of hyperglycemia are increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Severely elevated glucose levels can result in a medical emergency like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS, also referred to as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state). Insulin is the treatment of choice for people with type 1 diabetes and for life-threatening increases in glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes may be managed with a combination of different oral and injectable medications. Hyperglycemia due to medical conditions other than diabetes is generally treated by treating the underlying condition responsible for the elevated glucose. Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels A number of medical conditions can cause hyperglycemia, but the most common by far is diabetes mellitus. Diabetes affects over 8% of the total U.S. population. In diabetes, blood glucose levels rise either because there is an insufficient amount of insulin in the body or the body cannot use insulin well. Normally, the pancreas releases insulin after a meal so that the cells of the body can utilize glucose for fuel. This keeps blood glucose levels in the normal range. Type 1 diabetes is responsible for about 5% of all cases of diabetes and results from damage to the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is far more common and is related to the body's inability to effectively use insulin. In addition to type 1 and type 2, gestational diabe 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 >>

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious metabolic disorder that can occur in animals with diabetes mellitus (DM).1,2 Veterinary technicians play an integral role in managing and treating patients with this life-threatening condition. In addition to recognizing the clinical signs of this disorder and evaluating the patient's response to therapy, technicians should understand how this disorder occurs. DM is caused by a relative or absolute lack of insulin production by the pancreatic b-cells or by inactivity or loss of insulin receptors, which are usually found on membranes of skeletal muscle, fat, and liver cells.1,3 In dogs and cats, DM is classified as either insulin-dependent (the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin) or non-insulin-dependent (the body produces insulin, but the tissues in the body are resistant to the insulin).4 Most dogs and cats that develop DKA have an insulin deficiency. Insulin has many functions, including the enhancement of glucose uptake by the cells for energy.1 Without insulin, the cells cannot access glucose, thereby causing them to undergo starvation.2 The unused glucose remains in the circulation, resulting in hyperglycemia. To provide cells with an alternative energy source, the body breaks down adipocytes, releasing free fatty acids (FFAs) into the bloodstream. The liver subsequently converts FFAs to triglycerides and ketone bodies. These ketone bodies (i.e., acetone, acetoacetic acid, b-hydroxybutyric acid) can be used as energy by the tissues when there is a lack of glucose or nutritional intake.1,2 The breakdown of fat, combined with the body's inability to use glucose, causes many pets with diabetes to present with weight loss, despite having a ravenous appetite. If diabetes is undiagnosed or uncontrolled, a series of metab Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia And What To Do About It

Hyperglycemia And What To Do About It

This CE activity is approved by EMS World Magazine, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS) for 1 CEU. To take the CE test that accompanies this article, go to www.rapidce.com to take the test and immediately receive your CE credit. Questions? E-mail [email protected] Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are true medical emergencies. As we discussed last month, hypoglycemia often has a rapid onset and can impact any patient whose body is not provided an adequate glucose supply. While anyone can experience hypoglycemia, it is most common in patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes and whose natural insulin does not function normally. Patients with diabetes also risk developing hyperglycemia, a complex and dangerous metabolic derangement that can be fatal without proper care. The American Diabetes Association says that in 2011 there were a staggering 25 million patients with diabetes and 79 million with pre-diabetes across the United States. This month’s CE article explores the consequences of hyperglycemia on the body and the life-threatening emergencies it can cause. Diabetic Disease Progression Recall that insulin secretion is stimulated by eating. Insulin secretion is not stimulated between meals, and a decline in the body’s blood glucose levels inhibits the pancreatic islets’ insulin secretion and stimulates the secretion of glucagon, which allows glucose levels to remain in a normal range. Figure 1 demonstrates the relationship between blood glucose levels and the pancreas. With the exception of very few organs, such as the brain and the kidneys, the body’s tissues require insulin for glucose to pass through the cell walls. For patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), either thei Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State In Adults: Treatment

Diabetic Ketoacidosis And Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State In Adults: Treatment

INTRODUCTION Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS, also known as hyperosmotic hyperglycemic nonketotic state [HHNK]) are two of the most serious acute complications of diabetes. They are part of the spectrum of hyperglycemia, and each represents an extreme in the spectrum. The treatment of DKA and HHS in adults will be reviewed here. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, evaluation, and diagnosis of these disorders are discussed separately. DKA in children is also reviewed separately. (See "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis".) (See "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Clinical features, evaluation, and diagnosis".) Continue reading >>

What Is The Difference Between Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia?

What Is The Difference Between Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia?

By Debra A. Sokol-McKay, MS, CVRT, CDE, CLVT, OTR/L, SCLV What Is Hyperglycemia? In relation to diabetes, hyperglycemia refers to chronically high blood glucose levels. Most medical professionals define hyperglycemia by using the blood glucose goals that you and your physician have established and combining those goals with the blood glucose target ranges set by the American Diabetes Association. It's important to understand that you'll probably experience high blood glucose levels from time to time, despite your best efforts at control. As with any chronic disease, talk with your physician and diabetes care team if the pattern of your blood glucose readings is consistently higher or lower than your blood glucose goals. Complications from Hyperglycemia Persistent hyperglycemia can cause a wide range of chronic complications that affect almost every system in your body. When large blood vessels are affected, it can lead to: Stroke (cerebral vascular disease) Heart attack or Congestive Heart Failure (coronary heart disease) Circulation disorders and possible amputation (peripheral vascular disease) When smaller blood vessels are affected, it can lead to: Kidney disease (nephropathy) Nerve damage (neuropathy) Diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) Joseph Monks: Writer, Producer, and Film Director Joseph Monks, who has diabetic retinopathy, creates and produces films for his production company Sight Unseen Pictures. He is also the first blind filmmaker to direct a feature film. Says Joe, "I'm not uncomfortable with the term 'blind.' I'm not thrilled about it, of course, but it's accurate. The lights went out for me in early 2002 as a result of diabetic retinopathy—the death of my retinas. It is what it is, so when it happened, I decided that I wasn't going to let it put an en Continue reading >>

Diabetes - Diabetic Ketoacidosis & Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemia Syndrome

Diabetes - Diabetic Ketoacidosis & Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemia Syndrome

Sort Hyperglycemia: Causes type of glucose level caused by 1) too much food, 2) too little diabetic medications, 3) inactivity, 4) emotional/physical stress, 5) poor absorption of insulin 6) illness 7) corticosteroids **counterregulatory hormones released when stress, illness persist Hyperglycemia: Manifestations manifests as 1) polyuria: osmotic diuresis (glucose in renal tubules cannot be reabsorbed; consequent hyperosmolarity and osmotic pressure results in more water in tubules) 2) polyphagia followed by lack of appetite, 3) polydipsia: hyperosmolarity of blood causes thirst as cells release more water into circulation 4) weakness/fatigue, 5) blurred vision, 6) glycosuria, 7) nausea/vomiting, 8) abdominal cramping 9) dry, warm, itchy skin Hyperglycemia: Treatment 1) exercise **do NOT exercise if BG 250 mg/dL (stress hormones released) and ketones (Type 1); do NOT exercise if >300 mg/dL (Type 2) 2) drink water 3) eat less CHO at meals **contact HCP if BG >250 mg/dL two-three times in one week During illness: 1) do NOT stop taking medication 2) check BG more frequently 3) clear liquids until no more nausea Hypoglycemia: Manifestations MILD: sweating, tremor, tachycardia, palpitation, nervousness, hunger MODERATE: poor concentration, numb lips/tongue, HA, light-headedness, slurred speech, irrational/combative behavior, visual disturbances SEVER: disorientation, loss of consciousness, difficult to arouse, seizures, coma **Can mimic alcohol intoxication. ***use of beta blockers interferes with recognizing the symptoms Hypoglycemia: Treatment RULE of 15: 1) check blood glucose for levels < 70 mg/dL 2) ingestion of 15-20g of a simple (fast-acting) carbohydrate: glucose tablets, 4 oz of juice, 1 T of honey, 4-6 oz soda ***NO CANDY BARS/COOKIES: treatment with fats s/b avoid Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Patient professional reference Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Pre-diabetes (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) article more useful, or one of our other health articles. See also the separate Childhood Ketoacidosis article. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a medical emergency with a significant morbidity and mortality. It should be diagnosed promptly and managed intensively. DKA is characterised by hyperglycaemia, acidosis and ketonaemia:[1] Ketonaemia (3 mmol/L and over), or significant ketonuria (more than 2+ on standard urine sticks). Blood glucose over 11 mmol/L or known diabetes mellitus (the degree of hyperglycaemia is not a reliable indicator of DKA and the blood glucose may rarely be normal or only slightly elevated in DKA). Bicarbonate below 15 mmol/L and/or venous pH less than 7.3. However, hyperglycaemia may not always be present and low blood ketone levels (<3 mmol/L) do not always exclude DKA.[2] Epidemiology DKA is normally seen in people with type 1 diabetes. Data from the UK National Diabetes Audit show a crude one-year incidence of 3.6% among people with type 1 diabetes. In the UK nearly 4% of people with type 1 diabetes experience DKA each year. About 6% of cases of DKA occur in adults newly presenting with type 1 diabetes. About 8% of episodes occur in hospital patients who did not primarily present with DKA.[2] However, DKA may also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although people with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to have a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state. Ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes tends to be more common in older, overweight, non-white people with type 2 diabetes, and DKA may be their Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia - Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Hyperglycemia - Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Hyperglycemia is a term referring to high blood glucose levels - the condition that often leads to a diagnosis of diabetes. High blood glucose levels are the defining feature of diabetes, but once the disease is diagnosed, hyperglycemia is a signal of poor control over the condition. Hyperglycemia is defined by certain high levels of blood glucose:1 Fasting levels greater than 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL) Two-hours postprandial (after a meal) levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L (200 mg/dL). Chronic hyperglycemia usually leads to the development of diabetic complications.2 Symptoms of hyperglycemia The most common symptoms of diabetes itself are related to hyperglycemia - the classic symptoms of frequent urination and thirst.2,3 Typical signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia that has been confirmed by blood glucose measurement include:1,3,4 Thirst and hunger Dry mouth Frequent urination, particularly at night Tiredness Recurrent infections, such as thrush Weight loss Vision blurring. Causes of hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia often leads to the diagnosis of diabetes. For people already diagnosed and treated for diabetes, however, poor control over blood sugar levels leads to the condition. Causes of this include:1,3,4 Eating more or exercising less than usual Insufficient amount of insulin treatment (more commonly in cases of type 1 diabetes) Insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes Illness such as the flu Psychological and emotional stress The "dawn phenomenon" or "dawn effect" - an early morning hormone surge. The video below from Diabetes UK explains the dawn phenomenon and offers practical tips. Treatment and prevention of hyperglycemia Prevention of hyperglycemia for people with a diabetes diagnosis is a matter of good self-monitoring and management of blood glucose levels, including ad Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis & Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State

Diabetic Ketoacidosis & Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State

Diabetic ketoacidosis is characterized by having blood glucose >13.9 mmol/L, arterial pH <7.3 in adults or venous pH <7.3 in pediatrics, bicarbonate <15 mEg/L, moderate ketonuria or ketonemia and anion gap >14. Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic state in adults is described as having blood glucose >33.3 mmol/L, arterial pH >7.3, bicarbonate >15 mEq/L, mild ketonuria or ketonemia, effective serum osmolality >320 mOsm/kg and variable anion gap. While hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic state in pediatric patients have blood glucose >33.3 mmol/L, venous pH >7.3, bicarbonate >15 mEq/L and altered mental status or severe dehydration. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when the body does not have enough insulin. Insulin is what breaks down sugar into energy. When insulin is not present to break down sugars, our body begins to break down fat. Fat break down produces ketones which spill into the urine and cause glucose build up in the blood, thus acidifying the body. Because sugar is not entering into our body’s cells for energy breakdown, the sugar is being processed by the kidneys and excreted through the urine; as a result, we become dehydrated and our blood becomes even more acidic. This leads to sickness and hospitalization if not treated. If a person’s blood sugar is over 240, they should start checking their blood for ketones. If you have diabetes, or love someone who does, being aware of warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can help save a life. Early Symptoms of DKA: High blood glucose level, usually > 300 High volume to ketones present in blood or urine Frequent urination or thirst that lasts for a day or more Dry skin and mouth Rapid shallow breathing Abdominal pain (especially in children) Muscle stiffness or aches Flushed face As DKA Worsens: Decreases alertness, confusion – brain is dehydrating Deep, labored, and gasping breathing Headache Breath that smells fruity or like fingernail polish remover Nausea and/or vomiting Abdomen may be tender and hurt if touched Decreased consciousness, coma, death If you think you might have DKA, test for ketones. If ketones are present, call your health care provider right away. To treat high blood sugar, hydrate with water or sugar free, caffeine free drinks. Sugar free popsicles and snacks are also good alternatives. Always call the doctor if vomiting goes on for more than two hours. Symptoms can go from mild Continue reading >>

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