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Treating Ketoacidosis At Home

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. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. 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 >>

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 >>

How Dka Happens And What To Do About It

How Dka Happens And What To Do About It

Certified Diabetes Educator Gary Scheiner offers an overview of diabetic ketoacidosis. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition in which the blood becomes highly acidic as a result of dehydration and excessive ketone (acid) production. When bodily fluids become acidic, some of the body’s systems stop functioning properly. It is a serious condition that will make you violently ill and it can kill you. The primary cause of DKA is a lack of working insulin in the body. Most of the body’s cells burn primarily sugar (glucose) for energy. Many cells also burn fat, but in much smaller amounts. Glucose happens to be a very “clean” form of energy—there are virtually no waste products left over when you burn it up. Fat, on the other hand, is a “dirty” source of energy. When fat is burned, there are waste products produced. These waste products are called “ketones.” Ketones are acid molecules that can pollute the bloodstream and affect the body’s delicate pH balance if produced in large quantities. Luckily, we don’t tend to burn huge amounts of fat at one time, and the ketones that are produced can be broken down during the process of glucose metabolism. Glucose and ketones can “jump into the fire” together. It is important to have an ample supply of glucose in the body’s cells. That requires two things: sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream, and insulin to shuttle the sugar into the cells. A number of things would start to go wrong if you have no insulin in the bloodstream: Without insulin, glucose cannot get into the body’s cells. As a result, the cells begin burning large amounts of fat for energy. This, of course, Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment & Management

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment & Management

Approach Considerations Managing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in an intensive care unit during the first 24-48 hours always is advisable. When treating patients with DKA, the following points must be considered and closely monitored: It is essential to maintain extreme vigilance for any concomitant process, such as infection, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, sepsis, or deep venous thrombosis. It is important to pay close attention to the correction of fluid and electrolyte loss during the first hour of treatment. This always should be followed by gradual correction of hyperglycemia and acidosis. Correction of fluid loss makes the clinical picture clearer and may be sufficient to correct acidosis. The presence of even mild signs of dehydration indicates that at least 3 L of fluid has already been lost. Patients usually are not discharged from the hospital unless they have been able to switch back to their daily insulin regimen without a recurrence of ketosis. When the condition is stable, pH exceeds 7.3, and bicarbonate is greater than 18 mEq/L, the patient is allowed to eat a meal preceded by a subcutaneous (SC) dose of regular insulin. Insulin infusion can be discontinued 30 minutes later. If the patient is still nauseated and cannot eat, dextrose infusion should be continued and regular or ultra–short-acting insulin should be administered SC every 4 hours, according to blood glucose level, while trying to maintain blood glucose values at 100-180 mg/dL. The 2011 JBDS guideline recommends the intravenous infusion of insulin at a weight-based fixed rate until ketosis has subsided. Should blood glucose fall below 14 mmol/L (250 mg/dL), 10% glucose should be added to allow for the continuation of fixed-rate insulin infusion. [19, 20] In established patient Continue reading >>

How To Treat Diabetic Ketoacidosis

How To Treat Diabetic Ketoacidosis

1 Call emergency services. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be a life-threatening condition. If you are experiencing symptoms like your blood sugar not lowering, you should immediately call emergency services or visit the emergency room.[2] Symptoms that require you to call emergency services include severe nausea, being nauseous for four or more hours, vomiting, being unable to keep fluids down, inability to get your blood sugar levels down, or high levels of ketones in your urine.[3] Leaving DKA untreated can lead to irreparable damage and even death. It is important to seek medical care as soon as you suspect you are having a problem. 2 Stay in the hospital. Ketoacidosis is usually treated in the hospital. You may be admitted to a regular room or treated in ICU depending on the severity of your symptoms. During the first hours you are there, the doctors will work on getting your fluids and electrolytes balanced, then they will focus on other symptoms. Most of the time, patients remain in the hospital until they are ready to return to their normal insulin regimen.[4] The doctor will monitor you for any other conditions that may cause complications, like infection, heart attack, brain problems, sepsis, or blood clots in deep veins. 3 Increase your fluid intake. One of the first things that will be done to treat your diabetic ketoacidosis is to replace fluids. This can be in the hospital, a doctor’s office, or home. If you are receiving medical care, they will give you an IV. At home, you can drink fluids by mouth.[6] Fluids are lost through frequent urination and must be replaced. Replacing fluids helps balance out the sugar levels in your blood. 4 Replace your electrolytes. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, are important to keep your body functioning p 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 >>

Risks Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Risks Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

People suffering from diabetes could develop diabetic ketoacidosis. This serious complication develops from extremely low level or absence of insulin in the body. Usually type 1 diabetes patients have the greatest risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. If left untreated this health disorder could lead to severe health problems and in the worst case, it can even cause death. Diabetic ketoacidosis causes Sugar is the primarily fuel source of your body. Insulin helps the body cells to absorb the sugar. If the insulin level is low, the cells and tissues of your body will not be able to absorb the sugar. To sustain the body functions, your body will now look for an alternate source of energy. Your body will now increase secretion of hormones that break down fat to release energy. In this process of increased fat metabolism, toxins, known as ketones, are produced in the body. Rise in these toxic acids cause severe damage to the organs of the body. If diabetics on insulin treatment miss their insulin medications, the insulin level will drop, triggering diabetic ketoacidosis. Due to an ailment if your body produces excess hormones, such as adrenaline, these hormones will inhibit the activity of insulin, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis. This health disorder could also develop from alcoholism and drug abuse. Stress, trauma, stroke, heart attack, high fever and surgery could increase the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. People suffering from any form of diabetes – type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes could develop diabetic ketoacidosis any time. However, people with type 1 diabetes, who are below 19, have the greatest risk of developing this health problem. Diabetic ketoacidosis symptoms The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis develop rapidly. You Continue reading >>

How To Treat Ketoacidosis

How To Treat Ketoacidosis

Fri, 11/19/2010 - 14:57 -- Richard Morris Immediately drink a large amount of non-caloric or low caloric fluid. Continue to drink 8 to 12 oz. every 30 minutes. Diluted Gatorade, water with Nu-Salt and similar fluids are good because they help restore potassium lost because of high blood sugars. Take larger-than-normal correction boluses every 3 hours until the blood sugar is below 200 mg/dl (11 mmol) and ketones are negative. It will take much more rapid insulin than normal to bring blood sugars down when ketones are present in the urine or blood. Often, one and a half to two times the normal insulin dose for a high blood sugar will be necessary. Higher insulin doses than these will be needed if there is an infection or other major stress. If nausea becomes severe or last 4 hours or more, call your physician. If vomiting starts or you can no longer drink fluids, have a friend or family member call your physician immediately, then go directly to an emergency room for treatment. Never omit your insulin, even if you cannot eat. A reduced insulin dose might be needed, but only if your blood sugar is currently low. When high blood sugars or ketoacidosis happen, it is critical that you drink lots of fluid to prevent dehydration. Take extra amounts of Humalog, Novolog or Regular insulin to bring the blood sugars down. Children with severe ketoacidosis lose 10-15 % of their previous body weight (i.e., a 60 lb. child can lose 6 to 9 lbs. of weight) due to severe dehydration. Replacement of fluids should be monitored carefully. The dehydration is caused by excess urination due to high blood sugars and is quickly worsened when vomiting starts due to the ketoacidosis. The start of vomiting requires immediate attention at an ER or hospital where IV fluid replacement can begin. If o Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes Complicated By Ketoacidosis

Managing Diabetes Complicated By Ketoacidosis

Go to site For Pet Owners Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus that has to be aggressively treated. Diagnosis The diagnosis is based on the presence of ketonuria with signs of systemic illness. Management guidelines Goals of treatment include the correction of fluid deficits, acid-base balance and electrolyte balance, reduction of blood glucose and ketonuria, and beginning insulin therapy and treatment of concurrent diseases. Many protocols for treatment exist but rapid-acting insulin (regular) must be administered first, as decreases in the hyperglycemia must be achieved quickly. When blood sugar levels are lowered and maintained at 200−250 mg/dL for 4−10 hours, then Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) can be used. Evaluation of treatment When evaluating the regulation of insulin therapy, it is important to consider several areas including the evaluation of glycemia, urine monitoring, routine rechecks and glycated protein evaluations. Evaluation of the glycemia Creating a blood glucose curve is the most accurate way to evaluate glycemia in order to adjust the dose of Vetsulin. Indications for creating a blood glucose curve are: First, to establish insulin dose, dosing interval, and insulin type when beginning regulation. Second, to evaluate regulation especially if problems occur. Third, when rebound hyperglycemia (Somogyi effect) is suspected. Contraindications for creating a blood glucose curve are: Concurrent administration of drugs affecting glycemia. Presence of a known infection or disease. Stressed animal. The procedure is as follows: The most accurate way to assess response to management is by generating a blood glucose curve. Ideally, the first sample should be taken just prior to feeding Continue reading >>

Diabetic (diabetes) Ketoacidosis Treatment And Home Remedies

Diabetic (diabetes) Ketoacidosis Treatment And Home Remedies

One of the symptoms of diabetes is the so-called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. This condition occurs as a result of the body’s dehydration at the state of insulin deficiency. This is also connected with the rise in blood sugar levels and organic acids known as ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis normally happens to patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Diabetic ketoacidosis is common to younger age group than that of type 2 diabetes. This condition can happen to both men and women. However, diabetic ketoacidosis treatment is available whether through home treatment or clinic medication. Causes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a diabetic patient becomes dehydrated. Events that trigger the attack of diabetic ketoacidosis include the following: Infection related to diarrhea, vomiting, and high fever Inadequate amount of insulin Newly diagnosed with diabetes Heart attack, stroke, trauma, stress, alcohol abuse, drug abuse Previous surgery Home Remedies and Treatment for Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis treatment guidelines can be conveniently done at home. Self-care is usually available along with frequent checkups with the doctor. However, self-care at home is oftentimes administered for the prevention of diabetic ketoacidosis in treating moderate to elevated blood sugar levels. If you are a patient with type 1 diabetes, it is important that you monitor your sugar levels in the blood as directed by your doctor. Regularly check on the levels of blood sugar if you feel ill, having an infection, or have had an illness or injury. Doing the self-care diabetic ketoacidosis treatment at home would mean having additional injections of insulin. This treatment should of course be coupled with arranging extra insulin regimen and frequent blood gluco Continue reading >>

The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Scary Experience Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Today, we’re excited to share with you another guest blog from Katie Janowiak, who works for the Medtronic Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm. When she first told me her story about food poisoning and Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), I knew others could benefit from hearing it as well. Thanks Katie for your openness and allowing us to share your scary story so that the LOOP community can learn from it. Throughout this past year, I’ve had the honor of sharing with you, the amazing LOOP community, my personal journey and the often humorous sequence of events that is my life with T1. Humor is, after all, the best (and cheapest) therapy. Allow me to pause today to share with you the down and dirty of what it feels like to have something that is not the slightest bit humorous: diabetic ketoacidosis.You are hot. You are freezing. You are confused. You are blacked out but coherent. You go to talk but words fail you. Time flies and goes in slow motion simultaneously. You will likely smell and look like death. In my instance, this was brought on by the combination of excessive vomiting and dehydration caused by food poisoning and the diabetic ketoacidosis that followed after my body had gone through so much. In hindsight, I was lucky, my husband knew that I had food poisoning because I began vomiting after our meal. But I had never prepped him on diabetic ketoacidosis and the symptoms (because DKA was for those other diabetics.) Upon finding me in our living room with a bowl of blood and bile by my side (no, I am not exaggerating), he got me into the car and took me to emergency care. It was 5:30 p.m. – and I thought it was 11:00 a.m. The series of events that led up to my stay in the ICU began innocently enough. It was a warm summer night and my husband and I walke Continue reading >>

Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DK) occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar and organic acids called ketones. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. DK is a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma or even death if left untreated. DK is associated with significant disturbances of the body’s chemistry, which can resolve with proper therapy. In Diabetic Ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). As the body produces stress response hormones unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency, the body begins to consume its own muscle, fat and liver cells into glucose 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. Ketones are acids that build up in the blood and appear in the urine when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick. High levels of ketones can poison the body. Ketoacidosis may happen to anyone with diabetes and individuals with Type I need to take extra precautionary measures. But you can help prevent DK by learning the warning signs and checking your urine and blood regularly. Ketoacidosis usually develops slowly. But when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours. Early symptoms include the following: Thirst or a very dry mouth Frequent urination High blood glucose (sugar) levels High levels of ket Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute, potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. For the most part, DKA occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, but it can happen in folks with type 2 diabetes almost as often. DKA is the result of an inadequate amount of insulin. Insulin allows the body to use its major fuel source (glucose) for energy. Since glucose can no longer be burned, it reaches high levels in the bloodstream. This causes increased urine production and dehydration. About 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. When there is not enough insulin, the body burns fat instead. Fat breaks down into acids which in turn produce toxic acidic substances known as ketones. These build in the bloodstream causing a dangerous situation. Loss of potassium and other salts which the body needs in the excessive urination is also common. DKA is therefore a medical emergency which if untreated can result in coma and possibly death. In the early stages, it may be possible to treat DKA at home, but if it is more advanced, management should take place in a properly equipped setting such as a hospital. The keys to prevention of DKA include awareness of its warning signs along with frequent blood glucose monitoring and checking urine or blood ketone levels as needed. Causative factors The most common events that cause a person with diabetes to develop diabetic ketoacidosis are: Infection such as diarrhea, vomiting, and/or high fever (40%), Missed, inadequate, or “bad” insulin (25%), New diagnosis or previously unknown diabetes (15%). Various other causes: pregnancy, heart attack, stroke, trauma, stress, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and surgery. Approximately 5% to 10% of cases have no identifiable cause. Signs and Symptoms Continue reading >>

How To Spot And Treat Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

How To Spot And Treat Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Even if you work hard at your diabetes management and use technology to help keep your numbers in range, you can still experience high blood glucose, which can escalate to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). While DKA can be scary if left untreated, it is preventable if you know what to look for and what to do. Senior District Clinical Manager, Melinda Turenne, BSN, RN, CDE, has more than 15 years of diabetes clinical experience. Today she shares some valuable DKA risk factors and prevention tips. Living with diabetes involves a lot of duties. You are checking your blood glucose (BG), counting your carbohydrates, exercising, and keeping doctors’ appointments. I am sure you remember your doctor or diabetes educator telling you to check for ketones too, right? Checking my what? One more thing to add to my to-do list! Yes, and here is WHY. What are ketones? Ketones are acid molecules produced when we burn fat for energy or fuel. As fat is broken down, ketones build up in the blood and urine. In high levels, ketones are toxic and can make you very sick. When combined with dehydration, it can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), a life threatening condition. Why would DKA happen? DKA occurs when there is not enough insulin present in the body. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, causing high BG levels. Since the body is unable to use glucose without insulin for energy, it breaks down fat instead. This can occur for several reasons: Infection, injury, or serious illness A lack of insulin in the body due to missed injections, spoiled insulin, poor absorption Severe dehydration Combination of these things What are the signs of DKA? High BG levels Ketones (in blood and urine) Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain (cramps) Confusion Tired, sluggish, or weak Flushed, Continue reading >>

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