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What Happens In Ketoacidosis?

What Happens When Insulin Levels Run Low In Type 1 Diabetes

What Happens When Insulin Levels Run Low In Type 1 Diabetes

If they feel unwell, people with diabetes need to take special care as any illness, even if not specifically related to their diabetes (like the flu) can cause their blood sugar (glucose) level to rise. Did you know? Part of the body’s natural response to illness is to raise the circulating blood sugar level. This may mean that people with diabetes need to take a higher dose of insulin than usual, rather than reducing the dose or not taking any. Reducing an insulin dose or stopping it altogether can lead to serious problems and often may cause diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is an emergency state in diabetes which requires hospital based treatment. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) DKA is a dangerous complication that is caused by a lack of insulin in the body. It occurs when the body is unable to break down glucose, because there is not enough insulin. Instead, it breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel. This causes a build-up of a by-product known as ketones, which disrupts the metabolism. The more ketones produced, the more ill a person with DKA becomes and left untreated potentially fatal complications can occur. The diagram below illustrates the process of diabetic ketoacidosis. Did you know? Before insulin was used in the treatment of diabetes, children dying from DKA were kept in large wards where they were mostly comatose until they, inevitably, died. Find out more about one of medicine’s more dramatic moments when insulin was first used to successfully treat DKA in January 1922. © University of Southampton 2017 Continue reading >>

Acute Complications Of Diabetes - Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Acute Complications Of Diabetes - Diabetic Ketoacidosis

- [Voiceover] Oftentimes we think of diabetes mellitus as a chronic disease that causes serious complications over a long period of time if it's not treated properly. However, the acute complications of diabetes mellitus are often the most serious, and can be potentially even life threatening. Let's discuss one of the acute complications of diabetes, known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA for short, which can occur in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Now recall that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. And as such, there's an autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas, which prevents the pancreas from producing and secreting insulin. Therefore, there is an absolute insulin deficiency in type 1 diabetes. But what exactly does this mean for the body? To get a better understanding, let's think about insulin requirements as a balancing act with energy needs. Now the goal here is to keep the balance in balance. As the energy requirements of the body go up, insulin is needed to take the glucose out of the blood and store it throughout the body. Normally in individuals without type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is able to produce enough insulin to keep up with any amount of energy requirement. But how does this change is someone has type 1 diabetes? Well since their pancreas cannot produces as much insulin, they have an absolute insulin deficiency. Now for day-to-day activities, this may not actually cause any problems, because the small amount of insulin that is produced is able to compensate and keep the balance in balance. However, over time, as type 1 diabetes worsens, and less insulin is able to be produced, then the balance becomes slightly unequal. And this results in the sub-acute or mild symptoms of type 1 diabetes such as fatigue, because the body isn 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. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>

> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a sugar that comes from foods, and is formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to each through the bloodstream. But even though we need glucose for energy, too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes — it happens when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells to be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. If it's not treated, hyperglycemia can cause serious health problems. Too much sugar in the bloodstream for long periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. And, too much sugar in the bloodstream can cause other types of damage to body tissues, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, they can happen in adulthood in some people, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Blood sugar levels are considered high when they're above someone's target range. The diabetes health care team will let you know what your child's target blood sugar levels are, which will vary based on factors like your child's age. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible. It's a three-way balancing act of: diabetes medicines (such as in Continue reading >>

People Dying Of Diabetes Who Never Knew They Had It, Study Finds

People Dying Of Diabetes Who Never Knew They Had It, Study Finds

People who don't know they have Type 1 diabetes may account for a surprising number of deaths from one complication of the condition, a new study says. Nearly a third of people in Maryland who died over a six-year period from diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition of severe insulin deficiency, had no known history of diabetes, the study of autopsy results found. While the researchers weren't able to definitively tell whether those who died had Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, their high blood sugar levels suggest they probably had Type 1, said study researcher Dr. Zabiullah Ali, the assistant medical examiner for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland. The finding highlights the need for regular physicals that include checking blood sugar levels, especially if warning signs of diabetes are present, the researchers said. The study was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. What happens when the body runs out of sugar Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes that occurs when body cells don't have enough glucose (sugar) to use for energy, so they switch to burning fat instead. (Body cells need insulin in order to take up sugar from the bloodstream; in people with Type 1 diabetes, little or no insulin is produced.) Breaking down fat for energy produces molecules called ketones, which are acids and can build up in the blood. If ketone levels climb too high, they can poison the body, causing chemical imbalances that can lead to coma, or death. In the study, Ali and colleagues looked at 20,406 autopsies and found 107 people who had died from diabetic ketoacidosis, although only 92 had data available for further review. Out of the 92 cases, they found that 60 people were previously diagnosed with diabetes, while 3 Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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

What Is Ketoacidosis And Why Is It Common In Type 1 Diabetes

What Is Ketoacidosis And Why Is It Common In Type 1 Diabetes

Some people are admitted to the hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) prior to being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This serious condition is often how people learn they have diabetes type 1. Learn more about ketoacidosis and why it is so common in type 1 diabetes. What is Ketoacidosis? Ketoacidosis happens when ketones (also known as fatty acids) are produced as the body burns muscle and fat instead of glucose for energy. DKA develops in people with type 1 diabetes when their blood sugar gets very high. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and must take insulin to avoid complications such as ketoacidosis. If a person is hospitalized with DKA, they are given tests to measure the levels of glucose and electrolytes in their blood. The tests taken during a hospital stay might be used to diagnose type 1 diabetes. Symptoms of ketoacidosis can include confusion, labored breathing, thirst, dry mouth, vomiting and dehydration. Other symptoms may include flushed face, dry skin, fruit-smelling breath, headache, muscle aches, stomach pain and frequent urination for a day or more. If you have these symptoms, go to an emergency room immediately. If DKA goes untreated, the person may go into a coma. DKA is diagnosed with blood and urine tests. Treatment may include intravenous fluids if the patient is dehydrated and insulin therapy to suppress the production of ketone bodies. Ketone testing can be done in people with type 1 diabetes to screen for ketoacidosis. Ketone testing is done by using a blood or urine sample. Testing is typically done during an illness such as stroke, heart attack, pneumonia or when a person has vomiting and nausea. Ketone tests might be ordered when blood sugars are higher than 240 mg/dl in diabetes type 1. Ketone testing is usually done dur 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 >>

What Happens During A Diabetic Coma

What Happens During A Diabetic Coma

A diabetic coma results from either very high or very low blood glucose levels. This is a life-threatening complication which causes the patient to fall into a state of unconsciousness. The coma is reversible if treated immediately, but if left untreated they may receive permanent brain damage or potentially die. There are three main types of diabetic comas: severe hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis and diabetic hyperosmolar. Each type of coma can be brought on by excessive food intake, failure to take the proper doses of medication, trauma, illegal drug use, alcohol consumption or infection. Hypoglycemia occurs when the body has insufficient glucose. If the brain does not have enough glucose, it cannot function properly which later causes you to pass out. Diabetic Ketoacidosis is common amongst people with type 1 diabetes and is triggered by the build-up of ketones. Ketones build up when sugar levels are too low and the body begins to burn fat for energy. Diabetic hyperosmolar occurs when your blood sugar is dangerously high, causing your blood to get thick and syrupy. Your body will try to get rid of the excess sugar by passing it in urine. This will cause frequent urination that can lead to dehydration. There are several symptoms that will alert you if your sugar levels are dangerously high or low: Fatigue Sudden and extreme hunger Frequent urination Fruity-smelling breath Shaking or nervousness Irregular heartbeat Confusion If you are experiencing these symptoms check your blood glucose levels right away and seek immediate medical attention. The best way to avoid diabetic comas is through prevention and managing your diabetes. You can manage your diabetes by checking your blood sugar regularly, exercising, sticking to your recommended diet, staying hydrated and tak 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

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

High Blood Sugars (ketoacidosis)

High Blood Sugars (ketoacidosis)

Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome Severe high blood sugars, ketosis (the presence of ketones prior to acidification of the blood), and ketoacidosis (DKA) are serious and potentially life-threatening medical problems which can occur in diabetes. High blood sugars become life-threatening in Type 1 or long-term Type 2 diabetes only when that person does not receive enough insulin from injections or an insulin pump. This can be caused by skipping insulin or not receiving enough insulin when large amounts are required due to an infection or other major stress. Ketoacidosis surprisingly occurs almost as often in Type 2 diabetes as it does in Type 1. However, people with Type 2 diabetes also encounter another dangerous condition called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome, which is roughly translated as thick blood due to very high blood sugars. Here, coma and death can occur simply because the blood sugar is so high. The blood will have ketones at higher levels but does not become acidotic. HHS usually occurs with blood sugar readings above 700 mg/dl (40 mmol) as the brain and other functions begin to shut down. When insulin levels are low, the body cannot use glucose present at high levels in the blood. The body then starts burning excessive amounts of fat which causes the blood to become acidic as excess ketone byproducts are produced. Even though the blood pH which measures acidity only drops from its normal level of 7.4 down to 7.1 or 7.0, this small drop is enough to inactivate enzymes that depend on a precise acid-base balance to operate. High blood sugars and ketoacidosis can be triggered by: not taking insulin severe infection severe illness bad insulin In Type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis often occurs under the duress of an infection, and is also freque 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 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 >>

What Is The Ph Of The Blood In A Diabetic Patient When His Glucose Levels Are Appropriate?

What Is The Ph Of The Blood In A Diabetic Patient When His Glucose Levels Are Appropriate?

Diabetes causes your body's pH levels to become more acidic and develop a condition called ketoacidosis, the American Diabetes Association explains. Your body's pH level refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the fluids in your body. Diabetes impairs your body's ability to properly utilize the glucose in your blood. Instead, your body is forced to convert fat into energy through a process that develops into ketoacidosis. Diagnosing ketoacidosis involves testing blood for the presence of ketones, the University of Maryland Medical Center explains. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is congenital, and its symptoms appear as early as childhood, MayoClinic.com explains. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by your body's inability to produce insulin, the hormone needed for cells to metabolize glucose into energy. Type 2 diabetes is essentially defined by acquired insulin resistance that usually manifests in adulthood. Both types of diabetes cause increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, hypertension and ketoacidosis. Left untreated, both types of diabetes lead to complications that damage your cardiovascular system, kidneys and nerves due to the accumulated glucose in your blood. Complications due to diabetes such as ketoacidosis are fatal if not treated. Ketones are the acidic byproducts of fat breakdown that accumulate when your body uses fat instead of glucose as a source of fuel, MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institutes of Health, explains. As your ketone levels increase, your body becomes more acidic. Ketones are present in both types of diabetes but are generally more typical of type 1 diabetes. Ketones are also sometimes present in urine. Acetone and acetoacetic acid are examples of ketones. Ketoacidosis does not happen o Continue reading >>

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