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Is Dka Serious?

What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?: Signs, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?: Signs, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) refers to a serious diabetes complication which happens when your body produces high amount of blood acids known as ketones. It is a very serious medical condition that could lead to diabetic coma or death. This life threatening medical condition happens when the body cells are unable to get the glucose they need for energy, because of a deficiency in insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose, a main source of energy for muscles and tissue, enter the body cells. When glucose cannot get into the body cells, it remains in the blood. The kidney will then filter some of the glucose from the blood, then excrete it from the body through the urine. When your body cells do not receive energy from glucose, they start to break body fat down into energy. When that happens, fatty acids or ketones are produced which then enter the bloodstream. This will lead to a chemical imbalance that causes DKA. Diabetic ketoacidosis mostly affect people with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes. The reason for this is because people with type 1 diabetes cannot produce enough insulin on their own. Lack of insulin allows your blood to become acidic. Because your body cells cannot make it under acidic conditions, the liver will secrete glucose to help the starving cells. Research shows that there are over 200,000 cases of patients suffering from DKA every year in the US alone. Diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms There are signs and symptoms you can look out for to know if you have diabetic ketoacidosis. These signs and symptoms usually develop quickly and could indicate you have diabetes. If you are experiencing symptoms of DKA, you need to call your doctor immediately. If not treated, DKA can be fa Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic acidosis is a life-threatening condition that can occur in people with type 1 diabetes. Less commonly, it can also occur with type 2 diabetes. Term watch Ketones: breakdown products from the use of fat stores for energy. Ketoacidosis: another name for diabetic acidosis. It happens when a lack of insulin leads to: Diabetic acidosis requires immediate hospitalisation for urgent treatment with fluids and intravenous insulin. It can usually be avoided through proper treatment of Type 1 diabetes. However, ketoacidosis can also occur with well-controlled diabetes if you get a severe infection or other serious illness, such as a heart attack or stroke, which can cause vomiting and resistance to the normal dose of injected insulin. What causes diabetic acidosis? The condition is caused by a lack of insulin, most commonly when doses are missed. While insulin's main function is to lower the blood sugar level, it also reduces the burning of body fat. If the insulin level drops significantly, the body will start burning fat uncontrollably while blood sugar levels rise. Glucose will then begin to show up in your urine, along with ketone bodies from fat breakdown that turn the body acidic. The body attempts to reduce the level of acid by increasing the rate and depth of breathing. This blows off carbon dioxide in the breath, which tends to correct the acidosis temporarily (known as acidotic breathing). At the same time, the high secretion of glucose into the urine causes large quantities of water and salts to be lost, putting the body at serious risk of dehydration. Eventually, over-breathing becomes inadequate to control the acidosis. What are the symptoms? Since diabetic acidosis is most often linked with high blood sugar levels, symptoms are the same as those for diabetes 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 Do You Determine When Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis Serious Enough To Seek Professional Medical Assistance?

How Do You Determine When Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis Serious Enough To Seek Professional Medical Assistance?

If you have DKA, you should seek medical assistance. There is no “safe level.” It is potentially dangerous, and even if you don’t have any immediate perception of damage, over time the acidity of the acidosis can, over time, do a lot of damage to your body. How do you know if you have it? If you have high blood sugar readings and ketones are present in your urine, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If the amount of ketones is “large”, it is a medical emergency, regardless of how you feel or what other symptoms you have. You test for ketones by using Ketostix. Dip the tip in fresh urine caught for the purpose, The tip will turn colors, indicating the presence of urine. The color will indicate the amount of ketones, with the most intense colors meaning the highest levels. Check the expiration date on the Ketostix. If you do not test for ketones frequently, they may expire before they are used up and you should not rely on them. They may be better than nothing if that is all you have. As a diabetic or the caregiver of a diabetic, you should have Ketostix on hand. The doctor can tell you at what blood sugar reading you should check for ketones. It might be something like above 300, which means that whenever you get a reading of 300 or above, you should check for ketones. Ketones cause the urine to have an identifiable smell often described as fruity or acetone-like. If you can smell that, your level of ketones is high enough that you should see a doctor, regardless of whether you have any Ketostix. Wikipedia has an article about diabetic ketoacidosis. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Serious Complication

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Serious Complication

A balanced body chemistry is crucial for a healthy human body. A sudden drop in pH can cause significant damage to organ systems and even death. This lesson takes a closer look at a condition in which the pH of the body is severely compromised called diabetic ketoacidosis. Definition Diabetic ketoacidosis, sometimes abbreviated as DKA, is a condition in which a high amount of acid in the body is caused by a high concentration of ketone bodies. That definition might sound complicated, but it's really not. Acidosis itself is the state of too many hydrogen ions, and therefore too much acid, in the blood. A pH in the blood leaving the heart of 7.35 or less indicates acidosis. Ketones are the biochemicals produced when fat is broken down and used for energy. While a healthy body makes a very low level of ketones and is able to use them for energy, when ketone levels become too high, they make the body's fluids very acidic. Let's talk about the three Ws of ketoacidosis: who, when, and why. Type one diabetics are the group at the greatest risk for ketoacidosis, although the condition can occur in other groups of people, such as alcoholics. Ketoacidosis usually occurs in type one diabetics either before diagnosis or when they are subjected to a metabolic stress, such as a severe infection. Although it is possible for type two diabetics to develop ketoacidosis, it doesn't happen as frequently. To understand why diabetic ketoacidosis occurs, let's quickly review what causes diabetes. Diabetics suffer from a lack of insulin, the protein hormone responsible for enabling glucose to get into cells. This inability to get glucose into cells means that the body is forced to turn elsewhere to get energy, and that source is fat. As anyone who exercises or eats a low-calorie diet knows, fa Continue reading >>

The Serious Side Of The Flu For People With T1d

The Serious Side Of The Flu For People With T1d

The flu can increase the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious acute complication of type 1 diabetes (T1D) that results from too little insulin DKA is normally seen in states of prolonged fasting or starvation. The body shifts metabolism from primarily using glucose to using an alternate fuel pathway, ketones, derived from fatty acids. A key signal for this shift is very low insulin levels. However, in T1D this shift can happen within a few hours when too little insulin is administered, often in the setting of another illness such as an infection or flu (the basal insulin in a basal/bolus insulin regimen typically blocks the production of ketones). The ketones build up in the blood stream and make the blood more acidic and can be associated with dangerous shifts in many of the essential electrolytes. Usually the low insulin levels that can result in DKA are also associated with a rise in blood glucose (typically above 250 mg/dL), which can be an early warning signal. Other signs of DKA include flu-like symptoms (feeling tired, weak, aches, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain), dehydration and also a fruity smell to the breath with more rapid breathing, which happens when the body is trying to eliminate the ketones and acid. In more severe cases there can be confusion or coma. Unfortunately, DKA is a relatively common occurrence at the time of initial diagnosis of T1D and 4.8% of adults living with T1D reported one or more episodes of DKA in the past year. Although treatment of DKA has improved greatly, it still accounts for about 1 out of 14 deaths in people with T1D. Seven things that you can you do: Talk about DKA with your diabetes care team! Often we talk a lot about DKA around the time of diagnosis, but not so much in the years afterward. Discuss whether te Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 diabetes is complicated—and if you don’t manage it properly, there are complications, both short-term and long-term. “If you don’t manage it properly” is an important if statement: by carefully managing your blood glucose levels, you can stave off or prevent the short- and long-term complications. And if you’ve already developed diabetes complications, controlling your blood glucose levels can help you manage the symptoms and prevent further damage. Diabetes complications are all related to poor blood glucose control, so you must work carefully with your doctor and diabetes team to correctly manage your blood sugar (or your child’s blood sugar). Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It develops when there’s too much insulin—meaning that you’ve taken (or given your child) too much insulin or that you haven’t properly planned insulin around meals or exercise. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). There are three levels of hypoglycemia, depending on how low the blood glucose level has dropped: mild, moderate, and severe. If you treat hypoglycemia when it’s in the mild or moderate stages, then you can prevent far more serious problems; severe hypoglycemia can cause a coma and even death (although very, very rarely). The signs and symptoms of low blood glucose are usually easy to recognize: Rapid heartbeat Sweating Paleness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech For more information about hypoglycemia and how to treat it, please read our article on hy 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 >>

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 >>

What Is Dka?

What Is Dka?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication from diabetes that can be serious and life-threatening. DKA is often a common factor when first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but also can occur during management of the disease. When the body is not receiving enough insulin to break down glucose, it forces the body to start breaking down fat as fuel. Ketones are then released into the body. Dangers of DKA DKA can lead to coma, or even death if the level of ketones in the body are high enough. Causes can include: Lack of insulin Consistent high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) Lack of food in the system due to illness/nausea Overnight low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) Infection Dehydration Symptoms & Warning signs of DKA: Early symptoms High levels of ketones in urine Very high blood glucose levels Frequent urination Extreme thirst More extreme warning signs Constant fatigue Flushed skin Nausea or stomach pain Vomiting Shortness of breath Fruity smell on the breath Disorientation How to test for ketones Ketone strips (urinalysis) can be purchased at any pharmacy. Follow the directions given in the instructions insert, and match the result on the stick with the accompanying color chart. When to test for ketones If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above If you have a flu or any other kind of virus (recommended to test every 4 to 6 hours) If your blood glucose levels are consistently higher than 240 mg/dl (13 mmol/L) When to see a doctor If urinalysis test shows high levels of ketones, or if you experience any extreme symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. How to prevent DKA DKA is prominent when you are ill, due to factors such as stress hormones and dehydration. To avoid going into DKA be sure to take precautions such as: Drinking lots of water Take the appr Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

What you should know Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a common, serious, and preventable complication of type 1 diabetes, with a mortality of 3-5%. It can also occur in patients with other types of diabetes It can be the first presentation of diabetes. This accounts for about 6% of cases The diagnosis is not always apparent and should be considered in anyone with diabetes who is unwell Diagnosis is based on biochemical criteria. However, hyperglycaemia may not always be present and low blood ketone levels (<3 mmol/L) do not always exclude DKA Immediate treatment consists of intravenous fluids, insulin, and potassium, with careful monitoring of blood glucose and potassium levels to avoid hypoglycaemia and hypokalaemia Knowledge of the type of diabetes at the time of DKA does not affect immediate treatment, and all patients with DKA should be advised to continue with insulin on discharge Subsequent management should focus on patient education and support to avoid recurrence Patients should be managed by a specialist multidisciplinary team during and after an episode of DKA What is DKA? Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an extreme metabolic state caused by insulin deficiency. The breakdown of fatty acids (lipolysis) produces ketone bodies (ketogenesis), which are acidic. Acidosis occurs when ketone levels exceed the body’s buffering capacity (figure⇓).1 2 Diabetic ketoacidosis may follow absolute insulin deficiency or relative insulin deficiency. Relative insulin deficiency may occur in the presence of increased levels of counter-regulatory hormones such as glucagon, cortisol, and catecholamines. Insulin deficiency results in lipolysis and ketogenesis. Ketone bodies are acidic and may initially be buffered, but when levels are high enough, will result in acidosis How common Continue reading >>

How The Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Has Improved

How The Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Has Improved

For patients with type 1 diabetes, one of the most serious medical emergencies is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It can be life-threatening and, in most cases, is caused by a shortage of insulin. Glucose is the “fuel” which feeds human cells. Without it, these cells are forced to “burn” fatty acids in order to survive. This process leads to the production of acidic ketone bodies which can cause serious symptoms and complications such as passing out, confusion, vomiting, dehydration, coma, and, if not corrected in a timely manner, even death. High levels of ketones poison the body. DKA can be diagnosed with blood and urine tests and is distinguished from other ketoacidosis by the presence of high blood sugar levels. Typical treatment for DKA consists of using intravenous fluids to correct the dehydration, insulin dosing to suppress the production of ketones, and treatment for any underlying causes such as infections. Medical history notes that DKA was first diagnosed and described in 1886 and until insulin therapy was introduced in the 1920’s, this condition was almost universally fatal. However, with availability and advances in insulin therapy, the mortality rate is less than one percent when timely treatment is applied. A Clinical Pharmacist Examines DKA Ron Fila (RPh) is a clinical pharmacist at McLaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey, MI. He has first-hand experience in treating patients with DKA and, as one of the early adaptors of EndoTool he has seen how this algorithmically-based glucose management software can help physicians save lives and improve patient outcomes. “We started using EndoTool in 2013, for treating patients in the ICU,” he noted in a recent interview. “Later, we expanded our use of this software for DKA and pediatrics. “Since DKA i Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy because there is not enough insulin. When the sugar cannot get into the cells, it stays in the blood. The kidneys filter some of the sugar from the blood and remove it from the body through urine. Because the cells cannot receive sugar for energy, the body begins to break down fat and muscle for energy. When this happens, ketones, or fatty acids, are produced and enter the bloodstream, causing the chemical imbalance (metabolic acidosis) called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can be caused by not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection or other illness, becoming severely dehydrated, or some combination of these things. It can occur in people who have little or no insulin in their bodies (mostly people with type 1 diabetes but it can happen with type 2 diabetes, especially children) when their blood sugar levels are high. Your blood sugar may be quite high before you notice symptoms, which include: Flushed, hot, dry skin. Feeling thirsty and urinating a lot. Drowsiness or difficulty waking up. Young children may lack interest in their normal activities. Rapid, deep breathing. A strong, fruity breath odor. Loss of appetite, belly pain, and vomiting. Confusion. Laboratory tests, including blood and urine tests, are used to confirm a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis. Tests for ketones are available for home use. Keep some test strips nearby in case your blood sugar level becomes high. When ketoacidosis is severe, it must be treated in the hospital, often in an intensive care unit. Treatment involves giving insulin and fluids through your vein and closely watching certain chemicals in your blood (electrolyt Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can happen in people with diabetes. DKA should be treated as a medical emergency. This is because it can lead to coma or death. If you have the symptoms of DKA, get medical help right away. DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes. But it can happen in people with type 2 diabetes. It can also happen in women with diabetes during pregnancy. This is often known as gestational diabetes. DKA happens when insulin levels are too low. Without enough insulin, sugar (glucose) can’t get to the cells of your body. The glucose stays in the blood. This causes high blood glucose (hyperglycemia). Without glucose, your body breaks down stored fat for energy. When this happens, acids called ketones are released into the blood. This is known as ketosis. High levels of ketones (ketoacidosis) can be harmful to you. Hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis can also cause serious problems in the blood and your body, such as: Low levels of potassium (hypokalemia) Swelling inside the brain (cerebral edema) Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) Damage to kidneys or other organs What causes diabetic ketoacidosis? In people with diabetes, DKA is most often caused by too little insulin in the body. It is also caused by: Poor management of diabetes Infections like a urinary tract infection or pneumonia Serious health problems, such as a heart attack Reactions to certain prescribed medicines and illicit drugs Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis DKA most often happens slowly over time. But it can worsen in a few hours if you are vomiting. The first symptoms are: Thirst and dry mouth Urinating a lot Belly pain Nausea or vomiting Breath that smells fruity (from the ketones) Over time, these symptoms may happen: Dry or flushed skin Nausea and vomit 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 >>

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