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Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis Fatal?

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus.[1] Signs and symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, weakness, confusion, and occasionally loss of consciousness.[1] A person's breath may develop a specific smell.[1] Onset of symptoms is usually rapid.[1] In some cases people may not realize they previously had diabetes.[1] DKA happens most often in those with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in those with other types of diabetes under certain circumstances.[1] Triggers may include infection, not taking insulin correctly, stroke, and certain medications such as steroids.[1] DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids which produces acidic ketone bodies.[3] DKA is typically diagnosed when testing finds high blood sugar, low blood pH, and ketoacids in either the blood or urine.[1] The primary treatment of DKA is with intravenous fluids and insulin.[1] Depending on the severity, insulin may be given intravenously or by injection under the skin.[3] Usually potassium is also needed to prevent the development of low blood potassium.[1] Throughout treatment blood sugar and potassium levels should be regularly checked.[1] Antibiotics may be required in those with an underlying infection.[6] In those with severely low blood pH, sodium bicarbonate may be given; however, its use is of unclear benefit and typically not recommended.[1][6] Rates of DKA vary around the world.[5] In the United Kingdom, about 4% of people with type 1 diabetes develop DKA each year, while in Malaysia the condition affects about 25% a year.[1][5] DKA was first described in 1886 and, until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s, it was almost univ Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the hallmark of type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. DKA is an emergency condition caused by a disturbance in your body’s metabolism. Extremely high blood glucose levels, along with a severe lack of insulin, result in the breakdown of body fat for energy and an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Statistics on Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur in between 16%-80% of children presenting with newly diagnosed diabetes. It remains the most common cause of death for young type 1 diabetes sufferers. Before the discovery of insulin, mortality rates were up to 100%. Today, the mortality has fallen to around 2% due to early identification and treatment. Death is usually caused by cerebral oedema (swelling of the brain). DKA is most common in type 1 diabetes sufferers but may also occur in those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the latter group usually has at least some functioning insulin so suffer from another disorder called hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma (HONK). DKA tends to occur in individuals younger than 19 years, the more brittle of type 1 diabetic patients. However, DKA can affect diabetic patients of any age or sex. Risk Factors for Diabetic Ketoacidosis People with diabetes lack sufficient insulin, a hormone the body uses to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar) for energy. Therefore in diabetic patients glucose is not available as a fuel, so the body turns to fat stores for energy. However when fats are broken down they produce byproducts called ketones which build up in the blood and can be damaging to the body. In particular, accumulated ketones can “spill” over into the urine and make the blood become more acidic than body tissues (ketoacidosis). Blood gl Continue reading >>

A Case Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Complicated By Fatal Acute Abdominal Aortic Thrombosis

A Case Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Complicated By Fatal Acute Abdominal Aortic Thrombosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious acute complications of diabetes mellitus. Arterial thrombosis complicating diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a relatively common concomitant life-threatening illness. However, acute abdominal aortic thrombosis in DKA is very rare. We report a case of a 65-year-old woman who presented with abdominal aortic thrombus complicating DKA. She was brought to our hospital because of loss of consciousness. Her initial laboratory examination showed that glucose was 407 mg/dl, ketone bodies were positive, and pH was 6.91. Thus, we diagnosed her as having diabetic ketoacidosis. However, physical examination revealed pulseless femoral arteries, and laboratory testing revealed elevated lactate, D-dimer, and serum potassium levels. She complained of abdominal pain and had a bloody stool after admission. Initial non-contrast computed tomography (CT) did not show the occlusion of the arteries. Eighteen hours after admission, we found severe cyanosis of her bilateral lower limbs, and the contrast-enhanced CT revealed the thrombus in abdominal aorta extending into the bilateral common iliac arteries. This case indicates that DKA can be complicated by thrombosis. We should maintain a high index of suspicion for thrombosis in patients with DKA. 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can occur in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. This causes harmful substances called ketones to build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly. DKA mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes occur in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the risk and know what to do if DKA occurs. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis Signs of DKA include: needing to pee more than usual being sick breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets or nail varnish) deep or fast breathing feeling very tired or sleepy passing out DKA can also cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine, which you can check for using home-testing kits. Symptoms usually develop over 24 hours, but can come on faster. Check your blood sugar and ketone levels Check your blood sugar level if you have symptoms of DKA. If your blood sugar is 11mmol/L or over and you have a blood or urine ketone testing kit, check your ketone level. If you do a blood ketone test: lower than 0.6mmol/L is a normal reading 0.6 to 1.5mmol/L means you're at a slightly increased risk of DKA and should test again in a couple of hours 1.6 to 2.9mmol/L means you're at an increased risk of DKA and should contact your diabetes team or GP as soon as possible 3mmol/L or over means you have a very high risk of DKA and should get medical help immediately If you do a urine ketone test, a result of more than 2+ means there's a high chance you have DKA. When to get medical help Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away if you think you have DKA, especially if you have a high level of ketones in Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis, also referred to as simply ketoacidosis or DKA, is a serious and even life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes. DKA is rare in people with type 2 diabetes. DKA is caused when insulin levels are low and not enough glucose can get into the body's cells. Without glucose for energy, the body starts to burn fat for energy. Ketones are products that are created when the body burns fat. The buildup of ketones causes the blood to become more acidic. The high levels of blood glucose in DKA cause the kidneys to excrete glucose and water, leading to dehydration and imbalances in body electrolyte levels. Diabetic ketoacidosis most commonly develops either due to an interruption in insulin treatment or a severe illness, including the flu. What are the symptoms and signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The development of DKA is usually a slow process. However, if vomiting develops, the symptoms can progress more rapidly due to the more rapid loss of body fluid. Excessive urination, which occurs because the kidneys try to rid the body of excess glucose, and water is excreted along with the glucose High blood glucose (sugar) levels The presence of ketones in the urine Other signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis occur as the condition progresses: These include: Fatigue, which can be severe Flushing of the skin Fruity odor to the breath, caused by ketones Difficulty breathing Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication What should I do if I think I may have, or someone I know may diabetic ketoacidosis? You should test your urine for ketones if you suspect you have early symptoms or warning signs of ketoacidosis. Call your health-care professional if your urine shows high levels of ketones. High levels of ketones and high blood sug Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis: What You Need To Know

Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis: What You Need To Know

Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis: What You Need To Know Diabetes can be hard to manage, but not properly controlling the disease can have dangerous and potentially deadly consequences. Ketoacidosis is one of them. This condition happens in people who dont have enough insulin in their body, perhaps because they have not taken some of their insulin shots. The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that when insulin is lacking, and the body cannot use ingested sugar as a fuel source, it starts to break down fat, which releases acids called ketones into the bloodstream. In large numbers, those ketones are poisonous and can cause deep, rapid breathing, dry skin and mouth, frequent thirst, a flushed face, headache, nausea, stomach pain, muscle stiffness, muscle aches, frequent urination, difficulty concentrating and fruity-smelling breath. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal, in part because it can eventually cause fluid to build up in the brain and for the heart and kidneys to stop working. There are ways to tell whether you have the condition or are approaching it, the Mayo Clinic says . A routine blood sugar test like the kind diabetics take all the time will show high blood sugar, and there are tests to measure the ketone levels in urine. The American Diabetes Association says that experts usually recommend using a urine test strip to check for ketones when blood glucose levels reach higher than 240 milligrams per deciliter. And when sick with a cold or flu, a person should check for ketones every four to six hours to be safe. Thats because infections or other illnesses can increase hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in the body, which then counter the work of insulin pneumonia and urinary tract infections are common culprits, the Mayo Clinic warns. In Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What Is It? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially fatal complication of diabetes that occurs when you have much less insulin than your body needs. This problem causes the blood to become acidic and the body to become dangerously dehydrated. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when diabetes is not treated adequately, or it can occur during times of serious sickness. To understand this illness, you need to understand the way your body powers itself with sugar and other fuels. Foods we eat are broken down by the body, and much of what we eat becomes glucose (a type of sugar), which enters the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose to pass from the bloodstream into body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin normally is made by the pancreas, but people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) don't produce enough insulin and must inject it daily. Your body needs a constant source of energy. When you have plenty of insulin, your body cells can get all the energy they need from glucose. If you don't have enough insulin in your blood, your liver is programmed to manufacture emergency fuels. These fuels, made from fat, are called ketones (or keto acids). In a pinch, ketones can give you energy. However, if your body stays dependent on ketones for energy for too long, you soon will become ill. Ketones are acidic chemicals that are toxic at high concentrations. In diabetic ketoacidosis, ketones build up in the blood, seriously altering the normal chemistry of the blood and interfering with the function of multiple organs. They make the blood acidic, which causes vomiting and abdominal pain. If the acid level of the blood becomes extreme, ketoacidosis can cause falling blood pressure, coma and death. Ketoacidosis is always accompanied by dehydration, which is caused by high Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

A Preventable Crisis People who have had diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, will tell you it’s worse than any flu they’ve ever had, describing an overwhelming feeling of lethargy, unquenchable thirst, and unrelenting vomiting. “It’s sort of like having molasses for blood,” says George. “Everything moves so slow, the mouth can feel so dry, and there is a cloud over your head. Just before diagnosis, when I was in high school, I would get out of a class and go to the bathroom to pee for about 10–12 minutes. Then I would head to the water fountain and begin drinking water for minutes at a time, usually until well after the next class had begun.” George, generally an upbeat person, said that while he has experienced varying degrees of DKA in his 40 years or so of having diabetes, “…at its worst, there is one reprieve from its ill feeling: Unfortunately, that is a coma.” But DKA can be more than a feeling of extreme discomfort, and it can result in more than a coma. “It has the potential to kill,” says Richard Hellman, MD, past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “DKA is a medical emergency. It’s the biggest medical emergency related to diabetes. It’s also the most likely time for a child with diabetes to die.” DKA occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body, resulting in high blood glucose; the person is dehydrated; and too many ketones are present in the bloodstream, making it acidic. The initial insulin deficit is most often caused by the onset of diabetes, by an illness or infection, or by not taking insulin when it is needed. Ketones are your brain’s “second-best fuel,” Hellman says, with glucose being number one. If you don’t have enough glucose in your cells to supply energy to your brain, yo 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Summarized from Nyenwe E, Kitabchi A. The evolution of diabetic ketoacidosis: An update of its etiology, pathogenesis and management. Metabolism 2016; 65: 507-21 Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is an acute, potentially life-threatening complication of poorly controlled diabetes, is the subject of a recent comprehensive review article. The authors discuss epidemiological issues, revealing increasing incidence of DKA and decreasing mortality. Once inevitably fatal, DKA now has a reported mortality rate of <1 % in adults and 5 % in the elderly who also have one or more chronic illnesses, in addition to diabetes. They reveal that although DKA more commonly affects those with type 1 diabetes, around a third of cases occur in those with type 2 diabetes. This introductory section also reminds that DKA is characterized by the presence of three cardinal biochemical features: raised blood glucose (hyperglycemia); presence of ketones in blood and urine (ketonemia, ketonuria); and metabolic acidosis. Insulin deficiency is central to the development of these three biochemical abnormalities. The very rare occurrence of euglycemic DKA (DKA with normal blood glucose) is highlighted by reference to recent reports of this condition in patients treated with a relatively new class of antidiabetic drug (the SGLT 2 inhibitors) that reduces blood glucose by inhibiting renal reabsorption of glucose. There follows discussion of factors that precipitate DKA (omission or inadequate dosing of insulin, and infection are the most common triggers), and the possible mechanisms responsible for ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes. This latter condition, which was recognized as an entity only relatively recently, is distinguished by the development of severe but transient failure of pancreatic β-cells to m Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Introduction Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin in the body. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body is unable to use blood sugar (glucose) because there isn't enough insulin. Instead, it breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel. This causes a build-up of a by-product called ketones. Most cases of diabetic ketoacidosis occur in people with type 1 diabetes, although it can also be a complication of type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: passing large amounts of urine feeling very thirsty vomiting abdominal pain Seek immediate medical assistance if you have any of these symptoms and your blood sugar levels are high. Read more about the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. Who is affected by diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a relatively common complication in people with diabetes, particularly children and younger adults who have type 1 diabetes. Younger children under four years of age are thought to be most at risk. In about 1 in 4 cases, diabetic ketoacidosis develops in people who were previously unaware they had type 1 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis accounts for around half of all diabetes-related hospital admissions in people with type 1 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis triggers These include: infections and other illnesses not keeping up with recommended insulin injections Read more about potential causes of diabetic ketoacidosis. Diagnosing diabetic ketoacidosis This is a relatively straightforward process. Blood tests can be used to check your glucose levels and any chemical imbalances, such as low levels of potassium. Urine tests can be used to estimate the number of ketones in your body. Blood and urine tests can also be used to check for an underlying infec Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

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 >>

‘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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complications of untreated diabetes. In this complication, severely insufficient insulin levels in the body results into high blood sugar that leads to the production and buildup of ketones in the blood. These ketones are slightly acidic, and large amounts of them can lead to ketoacidosis. If remained untreated, the condition leads to diabetic coma and may be fatal. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) gets triggered by a stressful event on the body, such as an illness or severe lack of insulin. DKA is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. In some cases, identification of DKA is the first indication that a person has diabetes. Early Sluggish and extreme tiredness Fruity smell to breath (like acetone) Extreme thirst, despite large fluid intake Constant urination/bedwetting Extreme weight loss Presence of Oral Thrush or yeast infections that fail to go away Muscle wasting Agitation / Irritation / Aggression / Confusion Late At this stage, Diabetic ketoacidosis reaches a life-threatening level: Vomiting. Although this can be a sign of hyperglycemia and isn't always a late-stage sign, it can occur with or without ketoacidosis. Confusion Abdominal pain Loss of appetite Flu-like symptoms Unconsciousness (diabetic coma) Being lethargic and apathetic Extreme weakness Kussmaul breathing (air hunger). In this condition, patients breathe more deeply and/or more rapidly The major risk factors accelerating on set of diabetic ketoacidosis include the following: Diabetes mellitus: Type 1 diabetics are at a higher risk of DKA, because they must rely on outside insulin sources for survival. DKA can occur in patients with type 2, particularly in obese children. Age: DKA may occur at any age, but younger people below 19 years of age are more susceptib Continue reading >>

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