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What Lab Values Indicate Dka?

Blood Ketones

Blood Ketones

On This Site Tests: Urine Ketones (see Urinalysis - The Chemical Exam); Blood Gases; Glucose Tests Elsewhere On The Web Ask a Laboratory Scientist Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). Click on the Contact a Scientist button below to be re-directed to the ASCLS site to complete a request form. If your question relates to this web site and not to a specific lab test, please submit it via our Contact Us page instead. Thank you. 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 >>

Can Serum Β-hydroxybutyrate Be Used To Diagnose Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Can Serum Β-hydroxybutyrate Be Used To Diagnose Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Abstract OBJECTIVE—Current criteria for the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are limited by their nonspecificity (serum bicarbonate [HCO3] and pH) and qualitative nature (the presence of ketonemia/ketonuria). The present study was undertaken to determine whether quantitative measurement of a ketone body anion could be used to diagnose DKA. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—A retrospective review of records from hospitalized diabetic patients was undertaken to determine the concentration of serum β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) that corresponds to a HCO3 level of 18 mEq/l, the threshold value for diagnosis in recently published consensus criteria. Simultaneous admission βOHB and HCO3 values were recorded from 466 encounters, 129 in children and 337 in adults. RESULTS—A HCO3 level of 18 mEq/l corresponded with βOHB levels of 3.0 and 3.8 mmol/l in children and adults, respectively. With the use of these threshold βOHB values to define DKA, there was substantial discordance (∼≥20%) between βOHB and conventional diagnostic criteria using HCO3, pH, and glucose. In patients with DKA, there was no correlation between HCO3 and glucose levels on admission and a significant but weak correlation between βOHB and glucose levels (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS—Where available, serum βOHB levels ≥3.0 and ≥3.8 mmol/l in children and adults, respectively, in the presence of uncontrolled diabetes can be used to diagnose DKA and may be superior to the serum HCO3 level for that purpose. The marked variability in the relationship between βOHB and HCO3 is probably due to the presence of other acid-base disturbances, especially hyperchloremic, nonanion gap acidosis. Recently published consensus criteria for diagnosing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) include a serum bicarbonate (HCO3) Continue reading >>

Diabetes Urine Tests

Diabetes Urine Tests

Urine tests may be done in people with diabetes to evaluate severe hyperglycemia (severe high blood sugar) by looking for ketones in the urine. Ketones are a metabolic product produced when fat is metabolized. Ketones increase when there is insufficient insulin to use glucose for energy. Urine tests are also done to look for the presence of protein in the urine, which is a sign of kidney damage. Urine glucose measurements are less reliable than blood glucose measurements and are not used to diagnose diabetes or evaluate treatment for diabetes. They may be used for screening purposes. Testing for ketones is most common in people with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms? This test detects the presence of ketones, which are byproducts of metabolism that form in the presence of severe hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). Ketones are formed from fat that is burned by the body when there is insufficient insulin to allow glucose to be used for fuel. When ketones build up to high levels, ketoacidosis (a serious and life-threatening condition) may occur. Ketone testing can be performed both at home and in the clinical laboratory. Ketones can be detected by dipping a test strip into a sample of urine. A color change on the test strip signals the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones occur most commonly in people with type 1 diabetes, but uncommonly, people with type 2 diabetes may test positive for ketones. The microalbumin test detects microalbumin, a type of protein, in the urine. Protein is present in the urine when there is damage to the kidneys. Since the damage to blood vessels that occurs as a complication of diabetes can lead to kidney problems, the microalbumin test is done to check for damage to the kidneys over time. Can urine tests be used to Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Lab Test Results

Understanding Your Lab Test Results

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires an enormous amount of self-care and that can affect many parts of the body. Because of this, people who have diabetes are generally advised to visit their doctors multiple times a year and also to see various specialists (such as endocrinologists, podiatrists, and eye doctors) periodically to screen for potential problems and treat any complications that arise. Along with blood pressure readings and inspection of the feet and eyes, there are a number of laboratory tests recommended by the American Diabetes Association. These tests are used to track blood glucose control, kidney function, cardiovascular health, and other areas of health. Although you certainly can’t and won’t be expected to analyze the lab report when your test results come back, knowing a little bit about what your report says can be a way for you to more fully understand and take charge of your health. If it isn’t already your doctor’s regular practice to give you copies of your lab reports, ask for a copy the next time you have lab tests done. Use the information in this article to learn more about what lab reports show, and discuss your results with your doctor to learn what your results mean with regards to your health. Lab reports All lab reports share certain standard features, regardless of the test(s) they show. A Federal law, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act, regulates all aspects of clinical laboratory testing. It states exactly what information must be included in your lab test report. Some of the standard features include the following: • Your name and a unique identification number, which may be either your birth date or a medical record number assigned to you by the lab. • The name and address of the lab that tested your bloo Continue reading >>

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis And The Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State

Go to: Pathogenesis In both DKA and HHS, the underlying metabolic abnormality results from the combination of absolute or relative insulin deficiency and increased amounts of counterregulatory hormones. Glucose and lipid metabolism When insulin is deficient, the elevated levels of glucagon, catecholamines and cortisol will stimulate hepatic glucose production through increased glycogenolysis and enhanced gluconeogenesis4 (Fig. 1). Hypercortisolemia will result in increased proteolysis, thus providing amino acid precursors for gluconeogenesis. Low insulin and high catecholamine concentrations will reduce glucose uptake by peripheral tissues. The combination of elevated hepatic glucose production and decreased peripheral glucose use is the main pathogenic disturbance responsible for hyperglycemia in DKA and HHS. The hyperglycemia will lead to glycosuria, osmotic diuresis and dehydration. This will be associated with decreased kidney perfusion, particularly in HHS, that will result in decreased glucose clearance by the kidney and thus further exacerbation of the hyperglycemia. In DKA, the low insulin levels combined with increased levels of catecholamines, cortisol and growth hormone will activate hormone-sensitive lipase, which will cause the breakdown of triglycerides and release of free fatty acids. The free fatty acids are taken up by the liver and converted to ketone bodies that are released into the circulation. The process of ketogenesis is stimulated by the increase in glucagon levels.5 This hormone will activate carnitine palmitoyltransferase I, an enzyme that allows free fatty acids in the form of coenzyme A to cross mitochondrial membranes after their esterification into carnitine. On the other side, esterification is reversed by carnitine palmitoyltransferase I Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a state the body goes into if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones which are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and the urine. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote Continue reading >>

Prospective Studies May Decrease The Incidence Of Dka In Type 1 Diabetes In Children

Prospective Studies May Decrease The Incidence Of Dka In Type 1 Diabetes In Children

Placing newborns in prospective studies to conduct genetic screenings with follow up may reduce the risk of DKA at diagnosis of type 1. Children, particularly those under the age of 5, are at the highest risk of experiencing Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. This may be due to a delay in diagnosis by lack of knowledge of initial symptoms from parents or a misdiagnosis by clinicians with concurrent health issues. Currently, there are mixed data indicating whether DKA is increasing or decreasing in frequency. However, prior studies have shown that providing education on the initial symptoms of type 1 diabetes has shown to reduce the incidence of DKA at diagnosis. This can be seen in children with first-degree relatives who are more knowledgeable in the disease and can recognize initial symptoms. It is also seen in children enrolled in prospective studies for genetic testing of the disease and participating in follow ups. Oulu University Hospital in Finland have ongoing prospective studies since 1995. They have been genetically testing all newborn infants for HLA-conferred susceptibility of type 1 diabetes. One study hypothesized a decreased risk of DKA in children at diagnosis with type 1 diabetes who participated in prospective studies. Therefore, researchers conducted two study cohorts focusing information gathered by the prospective studies in Oulu University Hospital in Finland. A total of 1,164 patients were evaluated with an overlap of 485 children. Study cohort 1 had a sample size of 517 children. It included all children born in 1995-2012 with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes by the end of 2014. Study cohort 2 had a sample size of 579. It included all children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002-2014. Study cohort 1 was divided into 4 s Continue reading >>

Infection As A Trigger Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Intensive Care—unit Patients

Infection As A Trigger Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Intensive Care—unit Patients

Together with hyperglycemic coma, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the most severe acute metabolic complication of diabetes mellitus [ 1 ]. Defined by the triad hyperglycemia, acidosis, and ketonuria, DKA can be inaugural or complicate known diabetes [ 2 ]. Although DKA is evidence of poor metabolic control and usually indicates an absolute or relative imbalance between the patient's requirements and the treatment, DKA-related mortality is low among patients who receive standardized treatment, which includes administration of insulin, correction of hydroelectrolytic disorders, and management of the triggering factor (which is often cessation of insulin therapy, an infection, or a myocardial infarction) [ 3–8 ]. Although there is no proof that diabetics are more susceptible to infection, they seem to have more difficulty handling infection once it occurs [ 9 , 10 ]. Indeed, several aspects of immunity are altered in diabetic patients: polymorphonuclear leukocyte function is depressed, particularly when acidosis is present, and leukocyte adherence, chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and bactericidal activity may also be impaired [ 11–15 ]. Joshi et al. [ 10 ] reported recently on the lack of clinical evidence that diabetics are more susceptible to infection than nondiabetic patients. Nevertheless, infection is a well-recognized trigger of DKA. Earlier studies have investigated the prevalence of infection as a trigger of DKA and the impact of antimicrobial treatment [ 2 , 15–18 ]. However, none of these studies were of intensive care unit (ICU) patients only. Furthermore, most were descriptive, included small numbers of patients, used univariate analysis only, and did not designate infection as the sole outcome variable of interest. Efforts to identify correlates of infection h Continue reading >>

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Print If your doctor suspects diabetic ketoacidosis, he or she will do a physical exam and various blood tests. In some cases, additional tests may be needed to help determine what triggered the diabetic ketoacidosis. Blood tests Blood tests used in the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis will measure: Blood sugar level. If there isn't enough insulin in your body to allow sugar to enter your cells, your blood sugar level will rise (hyperglycemia). As your body breaks down fat and protein for energy, your blood sugar level will continue to rise. Ketone level. When your body breaks down fat and protein for energy, acids known as ketones enter your bloodstream. Blood acidity. If you have excess ketones in your blood, your blood will become acidic (acidosis). This can alter the normal function of organs throughout your body. Additional tests Your doctor may order tests to identify underlying health problems that might have contributed to diabetic ketoacidosis and to check for complications. Tests might include: Blood electrolyte tests Urinalysis Chest X-ray A recording of the electrical activity of the heart (electrocardiogram) Treatment If you're diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, you might be treated in the emergency room or admitted to the hospital. Treatment usually involves: Fluid replacement. You'll receive fluids — either by mouth or through a vein (intravenously) — until you're rehydrated. The fluids will replace those you've lost through excessive urination, as well as help dilute the excess sugar in your blood. Electrolyte replacement. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood that carry an electric charge, such as sodium, potassium and chloride. The absence of insulin can lower the level of several electrolytes in your blood. You'll receive electrolytes throu 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body's cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the energy our cells need to function. People with diabetes can't get glucose into their cells, so their bodies look for alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, and by the time DKA occurs, blood glucose levels are often greater than 22 mmol/L (400 mg/dL) while insulin levels are very low. Since glucose isn't available for cells to use, fat from fat cells is broken down for energy instead, releasing ketones. Ketones accumulate in the blood, causing it to become more acidic. As a result, many of the enzymes that control the body's metabolic processes aren't able 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 >>

Blood Gas Measurements In Dka: Are We Searching For A Unicorn?

Blood Gas Measurements In Dka: Are We Searching For A Unicorn?

Introduction Recently there have been numerous publications and discussions about whether VBGs can replace ABGs in DKA. The growing consensus is that VBGs are indeed adequate. Eliminating painful, time-consuming arterial blood draws is a huge step in the right direction. However, the ABG vs. VBG debate overlooks a larger point: neither ABG nor VBG measurements are usually helpful. It is widely recommended to routinely obtain an ABG or VBG, for example by both American and British guidelines. Why? Is it helping our patients, or is it something that we do out of a sense of habit or obligation? Diagnosis of DKA: Blood gas doesn’t help These are the diagnostic criteria for DKA from the America Diabetes Association. They utilize either pH or bicarbonate in a redundant fashion to quantify the severity of acidosis. It is unclear what independent information the pH adds beyond what is provided by the bicarbonate. Practically speaking, the blood gas doesn’t help diagnose DKA. This diagnosis should be based on analysis of the metabolic derangements in the acid-base status (e.g. anion gap, beta-hydroxybutyrate level). The addition of a blood gas to serum chemistries only adds information about the respiratory status, which does not help determine if the patient has ketoacidosis. Management: Does the pH help? It is debatable whether knowing or attempting to directly “treat” the pH is helpful. The pH will often be very low, usually lower than would be expected by looking at the patient. This may induce panic. However, it is actually a useful reminder that acidemia itself doesn't necessarily cause instability (e.g. healthy young rowers may experience lactic acidosis with a pH <7 during athletic exertion; Volianitis 2001). A question often arises regarding whether bicarbonate Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

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

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