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Is Ketoacidosis Life Threatening?

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

As fat is broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine. In high levels, ketones are poisonous. This condition is known as ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is sometimes the first sign of type 1 diabetes in people who have not yet been diagnosed. It can also occur in someone who has already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Infection, injury, a serious illness, missing doses of insulin shots, or surgery can lead to DKA in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but it is less common. It is usually triggered by uncontrolled blood sugar, missing doses of medicines, or a severe illness. Continue reading >>

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you have diabetes, it's important to be familiar with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when lack of insulin and high blood sugar lead to potentially life-threatening chemical imbalances. The good news is DKA is largely preventable. Although DKA is more common with type 1 diabetes, it can also occur with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar causes excessive urination and spillage of sugar into the urine. This leads to loss of body water and dehydration as well as loss of important electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. The level of another electrolyte, bicarbonate, also falls as the body tries to compensate for excessively acidic blood. Video of the Day Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it is used for energy production. When insulin is lacking, cells must harness alternative energy by breaking down fat. Byproducts of this alternative process are called ketones. High concentrations of ketones acidify the blood, hence the term "ketoacidosis." Acidosis causes unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting and rapid breathing. Bicarbonate is an electrolyte that normally counteracts blood acidity. In DKA, the bicarbonate level falls as ketone production increases and acidosis progresses. Treatment of DKA includes prompt insulin supplementation to lower blood sugar, which leads to gradual restoration of the bicarbonate level. Potassium may be low in DKA because this electrolyte is lost due to excessive urination or vomiting. When insulin is used to treat DKA, it can further lower the blood potassium by pushing it into cells. Symptoms associated with low potassium include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle cramps and an irregular heart rhythm. Severely low potassium can lead to life-threatening heart rhythm abnorm Continue reading >>

Children With Type 1 Diabetes At Risk For Life-threatening Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Children With Type 1 Diabetes At Risk For Life-threatening Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Two weeks before a family vacation last spring, 10-year-old Hailey Evans started to drink a lot more water. Her parents didn’t think much of it, given that Hailey had just joined a running team at her school in Northern Virginia and was exercising more. Not long after landing in Bolivia, where one of Hailey’s grandparents lives, she complained of a stomachache and nausea. Altitude sickness, her parents figured. Then Hailey took a sudden turn for the worse. Hospitalized the next day, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes within an hour. A few hours after that, she was in coma caused by swelling in her brain and severe dehydration. The next morning, April 20th, Hailey died, two weeks shy of her 11th birthday. Hailey’s devastated parents, Vanessa and Derrick Evans, now have joined a growing chorus of voices determined to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and push for more regular blood sugar testing. While Type 1 diabetes is the second most common chronic illness of childhood—trailing only asthma—it can mimic other common ailments and often is missed until it has taken a potentially deadly turn. “We had no idea,” Vanessa Evans says. “I wish I would have known, because maybe taking her to the doctor sooner would have saved her life. I would have never thought this could happen to anyone, much less us, yet here we are, left without our beautiful daughter. I don’t wish this pain on anyone. As we learned the hard way, with this disease, every minute, every hour, every day counts.” Cases of Type 1 diabetes are increasing worldwide, particularly in young children. Warning signs can include extreme thirst, frequent urination, a fruity breath odor and blurred vision, as well as generalized symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, stomachache, appetite changes and we Continue reading >>

My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Truth Behind My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A day like any other, can turn into a day you’ll never forget) With diabetes comes the good and the bad. When it’s good, it can be REALLY good. But when it’s bad…it can be life-threatening. I’ve certainly had my share of bad days. Trying to battle the high and the lows, and trying to stay as close to normal without losing my sanity. With having diabetes I’ve experienced many symptoms. But one day came symptoms like no other… chills – nausea – vomiting – back pain – weakness – blurred vision … and lots of ketones I had DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) This was years ago, after a night of drinking with friends. Wanting to live a free, independent young adult life. Knowing, yet not knowing how destructive being the slightest bit careless could affect my diabetes. I just felt terrible. To the point where I questioned where to take insulin or not. I thought to myself … Well I don’t really plan on eating today, and I don’t want to worry about dropping “low”. I thought I was saving myself from having to fix my blood sugar. So I missed my morning dose… (Boy, was that a mistake – NEVER – would I do this again) I didn’t know at the time that insulin is needed (with or without food) Even on sick days! Without insulin in my body, my body couldn’t receive the energy to function properly. I kept close eyes on my blood sugar for a few hours that day, which was only in the mid 200’s. I thought that due to the fact I wasn’t eating, my blood sugar would come down eventually anyways. But the symptoms progressed. I couldn’t keep anything down … not even water. To be honest, DKA never came to mind. I’ve always taken my insulin. The only other time was when I was diagnosed, and was mo Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic ketoacidosis is an acute metabolic complication of diabetes characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperketonemia, and metabolic acidosis. Hyperglycemia causes an osmotic diuresis with significant fluid and electrolyte loss. DKA occurs mostly in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). It causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and can progress to cerebral edema, coma, and death. DKA is diagnosed by detection of hyperketonemia and anion gap metabolic acidosis in the presence of hyperglycemia. Treatment involves volume expansion, insulin replacement, and prevention of hypokalemia. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is most common among patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and develops when insulin levels are insufficient to meet the body’s basic metabolic requirements. DKA is the first manifestation of type 1 DM in a minority of patients. Insulin deficiency can be absolute (eg, during lapses in the administration of exogenous insulin) or relative (eg, when usual insulin doses do not meet metabolic needs during physiologic stress). Common physiologic stresses that can trigger DKA include Some drugs implicated in causing DKA include DKA is less common in type 2 diabetes mellitus, but it may occur in situations of unusual physiologic stress. Ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes is a variant of type 2 diabetes, which is sometimes seen in obese individuals, often of African (including African-American or Afro-Caribbean) origin. People with ketosis-prone diabetes (also referred to as Flatbush diabetes) can have significant impairment of beta cell function with hyperglycemia, and are therefore more likely to develop DKA in the setting of significant hyperglycemia. SGLT-2 inhibitors have been implicated in causing DKA in both type 1 and type 2 DM. Continue reading >>

Risk Factors For Cerebral Oedema In Children And Adolescents With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Risk Factors For Cerebral Oedema In Children And Adolescents With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Cerebral oedema (CO) is a rare life-threatening complication of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children. We analysed the biochemical and therapeutic risk factors for CO in DKA by a retrospective review of 256 children hospitalized for DKA between February 2003 and March 2015. The demographic characteristics, biochemical variables and therapeutic interventions were compared between the patients with and without CO. CO was observed in 22 (8.6%) of the 256 subjects included in the study. One of these patients (5%) had a fatal outcome and two patients (9%) survived with neurological consequences. CO was significantly associated with severe DKA: lower initial venous pH (p < 0.001) and bicarbonate (p < 0.001), higher initial blood glucose (p < 0.01), urea level (p < 0.05) and baseline serum osmolality (р < 0.05). During the treatment of DKA, low serum phosphate level was found to be significantly associated with CO (p < 0.05). We also found significant dependence between the development of CO and the initiation of treatment for DKA in another facility before hospitalization in our hospital (p < 0.05), bicarbonate application (p < 0.001), higher fluid volume infused initially (p < 0.01) and delayed potassium substitution (p < 0.01). Severe ketoacidosis, hyperglycaemia and dehydration at presentation, and low serum phosphate during treatment are significantly related to CO formation in children with DKA. The initial severe acidosis and hyperglycaemia probably cause brain injury which progresses into CO in the course of developing hypophosphatemia and cerebral hypervolemia. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Maintaining Glucose Control

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Maintaining Glucose Control

The metabolic chain reaction that precedes diabetic ketoacidosis can occur rapidly, and this potentially life-threatening condition requires swift recognition and treatment. Two critical words in a diabetic’s vocabulary are “management” and “control.” When a patient with diabetes fails to manage food intake and loses control of blood sugar levels, hyperglycemia follows. In most cases, blood sugar levels elevate slightly, which prompts the individual with diabetes to take action to lower those levels. Under some conditions, blood sugar rises precipitously, which is usually caused by 1 or more of the following1-3 : • Developing or fulminant infection (especially Klebsiella pneumonia) or illness • Serious disruption of insulin treatment • New onset of diabetes • Physical or emotional stress • Adverse drug reaction (especially to corticosteroids, pentamidine, thiazides, sympathomimetics, or secondgeneration antipsychotics4 ) Acute, life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can develop rapidly. Table 11,2 describes criteria usually used to define DKA. We typically associate this metabolic abnormality with type 1 diabetes, but it also occurs in some patients with type 2 diabetes, with infection or an adverse drug reaction as the primary causes. As blood sugar rises in DKA, the patient becomes dehydrated and metabolic changes produce acidosis.1,2,4,5 Pathophysiology DKA usually occurs when absolute or relative insulin deficiency leads to increased counter-regulatory hormones (ie, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone, epinephrine). These hormones enhance hepatic glucose production (gluconeogenesis), glycogenolysis, and lipolysis, all of which increase free fatty acids (FFAs) in circulation. With insulin unavailable, the liver turns to FFAs as an alternative 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 >>

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 >>

Diabulimia: A Life-threatening Approach To Thinness

Diabulimia: A Life-threatening Approach To Thinness

By Kathryn E. Ackerman, MD, MPH and Tarin E. Jackson People living with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) are taught to be conscious of the foods they eat. They decide their dose of insulin shots based on how many carbs they eat. This focus on food can become obsessive. People who have type 1 DM and are fixated on their body image are at risk for eating disorders similar to anorexia nervosa and bulimia. “Diabulimia” [dye-a-byoo-LEE-mee-uh], an unofficial, non-medical term that combines “diabetes” and “bulimia,” describes the condition that results from omitting or reducing insulin doses to lose weight. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to metabolize food, specifically sugar (glucose). People with type 1 DM do not make insulin. As a result, their cells cannot use glucose and will “starve” unless insulin is injected. When the body cannot use glucose for energy, it begins to break down fat. This causes acid byproducts called ketones [KEE-tones]. Glucose is lost in the urine and fat is burned, leading to rapid weight loss. However, if the ketones and blood sugar levels continue to increase, the person’s life will be in danger from extreme dehydration and acidosis, known as diabetic ketoacidosis [KEE-toh-ass-i-DOH-sis] (DKA). Diabulimics often try a dangerous balancing act. They purposely skip some insulin doses to lose weight, while trying to avoid DKA. They may lie about their blood sugar levels, skip A1c checks, and use other means to hide their high blood sugars. Diabulimics often feel weak, cannot concentrate, and become thirsty. But even if diabulimics don’t develop DKA or the symptoms of poor blood sugar control, over time they will be at high risk for diabetic complications. These complications include kidney damage, blindness, and heart diseas 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 >>

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Duck Dodgers October 14, 2014 Peter, An article by Per Wikholm was published in this month’s LCHF Magasinet, where Per demonstrates that the Inuit could not have been in ketosis given that the scientific literature is abundantly clear, over and over again, that the Inuit consumed too much protein, and more importantly, Per debunks Stefansson’s claims for high fat with writing from his own books—Stef admitted in the pemmican recipes that Arctic caribou was too lean to make pemmican that supported ketosis. The most popular LCHF bloggers in Sweden, Andreas Eenfeldt/Diet Doctor and Annika Dahlquist have reluctantly agreed with Per’s findings—admitting that the Inuit were likely not ketogenic from their diet. I’ve put together a comprehensive review of the scientific literature regarding the Inuit, encompassing over two dozen studies, spanning 150 years, with references from explorers, including Stefansson. In the comments section of that post, Per gives a brief overview of how he was able to prove Stefansson’s observations on high fat intake were flawed. The post is a review of all the available literature that I could find (over two dozen studies). But, the literature certainly does not in any way support ketosis from the Inuit diet due to such high protein consumption. As Per (and Stefansson) points out, the caribou is too lean and as the many quotes show, the Inuit were saving their blubber and fat for the long dark Winter to power their oil lamps and heat their igloos. Again and again, we see that in the literature, as even Stefansson admits this. As far as glycogen is concerned, their glycogen intake is probably not worth scrutinizing given the well-documented high protein consumption in every published study. It really is besides the point. But, interest Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Kill You?

Can Diabetes Kill You?

Here’s what you need to know about the life-threatening diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Symptoms can take you by surprise, coming on in just 24 hours or less. Without diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, you will fall into a coma and die. “Every minute that the person is not treated is [another] minute closer to death,” says Joel Zonszein, MD, professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. (Diabetic ketoacidosis most often affects people with type 1 diabetes, but there is also type 2 diabetes ketoacidosis.) Without insulin, sugar can’t be stored in your cells to be used as energy and builds up in your blood instead. Your body has to go to a back-up energy system: fat. In the process of breaking down fat for energy, your body releases fatty acids and acids called ketones. Ketones are an alternative form of energy for the body, and just having them in your blood isn’t necessarily harmful. That’s called ketosis, and it can happen when you go on a low-carb diet or even after fasting overnight. “When I put people on a restricted diet, I can get an estimate of how vigorously they’re pursuing it by the presence of ketones in the urine,” says Gerald Bernstein, MD, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. RELATED: The Ketogenic Diet Might Be the Next Big Weight Loss Trend, But Should You Try It? But too many ketones are a problem. “In individuals with diabetes who have no or low insulin production, there is an overproduction of ketones, and the kidneys can’t get rid of them fast enough,” sa Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetes mellitus is the name given to a group of conditions whose common hallmark is a raised blood glucose concentration (hyperglycemia) due to an absolute or relative deficiency of the pancreatic hormone insulin. In the UK there are 1.4 million registered diabetic patients, approximately 3 % of the population. In addition, an estimated 1 million remain undiagnosed. It is a growing health problem: In 1998, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted a doubling of the worldwide prevalence of diabetes from 150 million to 300 million by 2025. For a very tiny minority, diabetes is a secondary feature of primary endocrine disease such as acromegaly (growth hormone excess) or Cushing’s syndrome (excess corticosteroid), and for these patients successful treatment of the primary disease cures diabetes. Most diabetic patients, however, are classified as suffering either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for around 15 % of the total diabetic population, is an autoimmune disease of the pancreas in which the insulin-producing β-cells of the pancreas are selectively destroyed, resulting in an absolute insulin deficiency. The condition arises in genetically susceptible individuals exposed to undefined environmental insult(s) (possibly viral infection) early in life. It usually becomes clinically evident and therefore diagnosed during late childhood, with peak incidence between 11 and 13 years of age, although the autoimmune-mediated β-cell destruction begins many years earlier. There is currently no cure and type 1 diabetics have an absolute life-long requirement for daily insulin injections to survive. Type 2 diabetes This is the most common form of diabetes: around 85 % of the diabetic population has type 2 diabetes. The primary prob 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 >>

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