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Ketoacidosis Treatment

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Emergency Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially fatal metabolic disorder presenting most weeks in most accident and emergency (A&E) departments.1 The disorder can have significant mortality if misdiagnosed or mistreated. Numerous management strategies have been described. Our aim is to describe a regimen that is based, as far as possible, on available evidence but also on our experience in managing patients with DKA in the A&E department and on inpatient wards. A literature search was carried out on Medline and the Cochrane Databases using “diabetic ketoacidosis” as a MeSH heading and as textword. High yield journals were hand searched. Papers identified were appraised in the ways described in the Users’ guide series published in JAMA. We will not be discussing the derangements in intermediary metabolism involved, nor would we suggest extrapolating the proposed regimen to children. Although some of the issues discussed may be considered by some to be outwith the remit of A&E medicine it would seem prudent to ensure that A&E staff were aware of the probable management of such patients in the hours after they leave the A&E department. AETIOLOGY AND DEFINITION DKA may be the first presentation of diabetes. Insulin error (with or without intercurrent illness) is the most common precipitating factor, accounting for nearly two thirds of cases (excluding those where DKA was the first presentation of diabetes mellitus).2 The main features of DKA are hyperglycaemia, metabolic acidosis with a high anion gap and heavy ketonuria (box 1). This contrasts with the other hyperglycaemic diabetic emergency of hyperosmolar non-ketotic hyperglycaemia where there is no acidosis, absent or minimal ketonuria but often very high glucose levels (>33 mM) and very high serum sodium levels (>15 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 >>

Management Of Adult Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Management Of Adult Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Go to: Abstract Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a rare yet potentially fatal hyperglycemic crisis that can occur in patients with both type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. Due to its increasing incidence and economic impact related to the treatment and associated morbidity, effective management and prevention is key. Elements of management include making the appropriate diagnosis using current laboratory tools and clinical criteria and coordinating fluid resuscitation, insulin therapy, and electrolyte replacement through feedback obtained from timely patient monitoring and knowledge of resolution criteria. In addition, awareness of special populations such as patients with renal disease presenting with DKA is important. During the DKA therapy, complications may arise and appropriate strategies to prevent these complications are required. DKA prevention strategies including patient and provider education are important. This review aims to provide a brief overview of DKA from its pathophysiology to clinical presentation with in depth focus on up-to-date therapeutic management. Keywords: DKA treatment, insulin, prevention, ESKD Go to: Introduction In 2009, there were 140,000 hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with an average length of stay of 3.4 days.1 The direct and indirect annual cost of DKA hospitalizations is 2.4 billion US dollars. Omission of insulin is the most common precipitant of DKA.2,3 Infections, acute medical illnesses involving the cardiovascular system (myocardial infarction, stroke) and gastrointestinal tract (bleeding, pancreatitis), diseases of the endocrine axis (acromegaly, Cushing’s syndrome), and stress of recent surgical procedures can contribute to the development of DKA by causing dehydration, increase in insulin counter-regulatory hor Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Treatment Approach The main goals of treatment are: Restoration of volume deficits Resolution of hyperglycemia and ketosis/acidosis Correction of electrolyte abnormalities (potassium level should be >3.3 mEq/L before initiation of insulin therapy; use of insulin in a patient with hypokalemia may lead to respiratory paralysis, cardiac arrhythmias, and death) Treatment of the precipitating events and prevention of complications. It must be emphasized that successful treatment requires frequent monitoring of clinical and laboratory parameters to achieve resolution criteria. A treatment protocol and a flow sheet for recording the treatment stages and laboratory data should be maintained. [1] [38] [39] [40] Initial and supportive treatment The majority of patients present to the emergency department, where treatment should be initiated. There are several important steps that should be followed in early management: Fluid therapy should be started immediately after initial laboratory evaluations. Infusion of isotonic solution of 0.9% sodium chloride at a rate of 1 to 1.5 L/hour should be used for the first hour of fluid therapy. Indications for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) are hemodynamic instability or cardiogenic shock, altered mental status, respiratory insufficiency, severe acidosis, and hyperosmolar state with coma. The diagnosis of hemodynamic instability should made by observing for hypotension and clinical signs of poor tissue perfusion, including oliguria, cyanosis, cool extremities, and altered mental state. After admission to ICU, central venous and arterial lines are required, with continuous percutaneous oximetry. Oxygenation and airway protection are critical. Intubation and mechanical ventilation are commonly required, with constant monitoring of r 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 Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Complications

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Complications

Diabetic ketoacidosis definition and facts Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes (though rare, it can occur in people with type 2 diabetes) that occurs when the body produces high levels of ketones due to lack of insulin. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin. The signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include Risk factors for diabetic ketoacidosis are type 1 diabetes, and missing insulin doses frequently, or being exposed to a stressor requiring higher insulin doses (infection, etc). Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed by an elevated blood sugar (glucose) level, elevated blood ketones and acidity of the blood (acidosis). The treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis is insulin, fluids and electrolyte therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be prevented by taking insulin as prescribed and monitoring glucose and ketone levels. The prognosis for a person with diabetic ketoacidosis depends on the severity of the disease and the other underlying medical conditions. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a severe and life-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the cells in our body do not receive the sugar (glucose) they need for energy. This happens while there is plenty of glucose in the bloodstream, but not enough insulin to help convert glucose for use in the cells. The body recognizes this and starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy. This breakdown produces ketones (also called fatty acids), which cause an imbalance in our electrolyte system leading to the ketoacidosis (a metabolic acidosis). The sugar that cannot be used because of the lack of insulin stays in the bloodstream (rather than going into the cell and provide energy). The kidneys filter some of the glucose (suga 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 Treatment

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening medical condition that is a complication of diabetes mellitus that is not in control. It is more common among type 1 diabetics that have no insulin but it can also be seen in severe cases of type 2 diabetes. In diabetic ketoacidosis, there are ketones in the bloodstream and urine because the fat in the body is broken down with ketones as a byproduct. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body isn’t making enough insulin by the pancreatic islet cells. In a normal person, insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar levels. The insulin helps glucose (sugar) to enter the cells to be used as cellular fuel. If insulin is absent, the body breaks down fatty acids to be used for fuel. Ketones build up in the urine and blood, leading to the condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. The main cause is being a type 1 diabetic who has not taken enough insulin. Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis The signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis can come on suddenly, within a day or so of having no insulin. When signs and symptoms do show up, the patient may have any or all of the following symptoms: Confusion Breath that smells fruity Shortness of breath Tiredness or weakness Pain in the abdomen Nausea and vomiting Increased frequency of urination Being excessively thirsty Clinical signs that the individual has diabetic ketoacidosis includes have extremely high blood sugar levels as well as elevated levels of ketones in the urine. Causes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis The main source of cellular fuel is glucose. All of the cells of the body rely on glucose to make energy to allow the cells to function in whatever capacity they happen to be in. When insulin is lacking, the body is unable to use glucose as fuel. These caus 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 >>

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 >>

Treatment Of Insulin-resistant Diabetic Ketoacidosis With Insulin-like Growth Factor I In An Adolescent With Insulin-dependent Diabetes

Treatment Of Insulin-resistant Diabetic Ketoacidosis With Insulin-like Growth Factor I In An Adolescent With Insulin-dependent Diabetes

INSULIN plays a central part in the regulation of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. Severe insulin resistance, in which treatment with large doses of insulin does not result in adequate metabolic control, is uncommon. Such resistance occurs in the presence of circulating insulin or insulin-receptor antibodies,1 , 2 insulin-receptor abnormalities,3 and episodically in patients with previously typical insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).4 The therapeutic options in patients with severe insulin resistance have been limited, since insulin has been the only available hormone with insulin-like metabolic effects. Recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), which shares considerable sequence homology as well as biologic properties with insulin,5 has recently become available and has been used in treating patients with Mendenhall's syndrome.6 We describe the use of IGF-I in the treatment of a 16-year-old girl with IDDM complicated by severe episodic insulin resistance. Administration of massive doses of insulin (more than 1000 U per hour) during these episodes failed to achieve glycemic control or reverse ketoacidosis. Treatment with IGF-I rapidly reversed the hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis, and subsequent weekly intravenous infusions of IGF-I markedly improved the degree of insulin sensitivity. The patient was a 16-year-old girl who had had IDDM since the age of 3. She was treated with twice-daily injections of regular and bovine or porcine isophane insulin suspension until the age of seven, at which time she began to receive human insulin. Her glycemic control subsequently improved. At the age of 13, she began to have increasingly frequent (two to three times monthly) episodes of severe hyperglycemia, usually without ketoacidosis. Her serum glucose Continue reading >>

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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

Type 2 Diabetes: Ketoacidosis

Type 2 Diabetes: Ketoacidosis

What is ketoacidosis, and how do you treat it? Ketoacidosis -- also known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA -- occurs when harmfully high levels of ketones build up in the blood. Ketones are an acid produced when there's a shortage of insulin in the blood and the body is forced to break down fat, rather than glucose, for energy. Ketones can spill over into the urine when the body doesn't have enough insulin, and the effects can be deadly. The symptoms of ketoacidosis Blood sugar level higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) Difficulty breathing, rapid breath, or shortness of breath Breath that smells fruity A very dry mouth Nausea and vomiting Difficulty concentrating Extreme fatigue, drowsiness, or weakness Rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure How to treat ketoacidosis Ketoacidosis is an emergency condition that requires immediate attention. Call 911 or take the person you're caring for to the nearest hospital. How to prevent ketoacidosis Make sure the person you're caring for drinks plenty of water so he stays hydrated and can flush the ketones out of his system. Check for ketones by doing a simple urine test. Test strips are available over the counter. Tell him to refrain from exercise if his blood glucose is 250 mg/dL or higher and ketones are present in his urine. Remind him to check his blood glucose often and to immediately report any sky-high readings to his main diabetes care provider. Sarah Henry has covered health stories for most of her more than two decades as a writer, from her ten-year stint at the award-winning Center for Investigative Reporting to her staff writer position with Hippocrates magazine to her most recent Web work for online sites, including WebMD, Babycenter. See full bio Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Evaluation And Treatment

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Evaluation And Treatment

Diabetic ketoacidosis is characterized by a serum glucose level greater than 250 mg per dL, a pH less than 7.3, a serum bicarbonate level less than 18 mEq per L, an elevated serum ketone level, and dehydration. Insulin deficiency is the main precipitating factor. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur in persons of all ages, with 14 percent of cases occurring in persons older than 70 years, 23 percent in persons 51 to 70 years of age, 27 percent in persons 30 to 50 years of age, and 36 percent in persons younger than 30 years. The case fatality rate is 1 to 5 percent. About one-third of all cases are in persons without a history of diabetes mellitus. Common symptoms include polyuria with polydipsia (98 percent), weight loss (81 percent), fatigue (62 percent), dyspnea (57 percent), vomiting (46 percent), preceding febrile illness (40 percent), abdominal pain (32 percent), and polyphagia (23 percent). Measurement of A1C, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, serum glucose, electrolytes, pH, and serum ketones; complete blood count; urinalysis; electrocardiography; and calculation of anion gap and osmolar gap can differentiate diabetic ketoacidosis from hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, gastroenteritis, starvation ketosis, and other metabolic syndromes, and can assist in diagnosing comorbid conditions. Appropriate treatment includes administering intravenous fluids and insulin, and monitoring glucose and electrolyte levels. Cerebral edema is a rare but severe complication that occurs predominantly in children. Physicians should recognize the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis for prompt diagnosis, and identify early symptoms to prevent it. Patient education should include information on how to adjust insulin during times of illness and how to monitor glucose and ketone levels, as well as i Continue reading >>

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis Damian Baalmann, 2nd year EM resident A 45-year-old male presents to your emergency department with abdominal pain. He is conscious, lucid and as the nurses are hooking up the monitors, he explains to you that he began experiencing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting about 2 days ago. Exam reveals a poorly groomed male with dry mucous membranes, diffusely tender abdomen with voluntary guarding. He is tachycardic, tachypneic but normotensive. A quick review of the chart reveals a prolonged history of alcohol abuse and after some questioning, the patient admits to a recent binge. Pertinent labs reveal slightly elevated anion-gap metabolic acidosis, normal glucose, ethanol level of 0, normal lipase and no ketones in the urine. What are your next steps in management? Alcoholic Ketoacidosis (AKA): What is it? Ketones are a form of energy made by the liver by free fatty acids released by adipose tissues. Normally, ketones are in small quantity (<0.1 mmol/L), but sometimes the body is forced to increase its production of these ketones. Ketones are strong acids and when they accumulate in large numbers, their presence leads to an acidosis. In alcoholics, a combination or reduced nutrient intake, hepatic oxidation of ethanol, and dehydration can lead to ketoacidosis. Alcoholics tend to rely on ethanol for their nutrient intake and when the liver metabolizes ethanol it generates NADH. This NADH further promotes ketone formation in the liver. Furthermore, ethanol promotes diuresis which leads to dehydration and subsequently impairs ketone excretion in the urine. Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: How do I recognize it? Typical history involves a chronic alcohol abuser who went on a recent binge that was terminated by severe nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These folk Continue reading >>

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