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Why Do Dka Patients Get Dehydrated

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology University of Khartoum, Sudan Introduction DKA is a serious acute complications of Diabetes Mellitus. It carries significant risk of death and/or morbidity especially with delayed treatment. The prognosis of DKA is worse in the extremes of age, with a mortality rates of 5-10%. With the new advances of therapy, DKA mortality decreases to > 2%. Before discovery and use of Insulin (1922) the mortality was 100%. Epidemiology DKA is reported in 2-5% of known type 1 diabetic patients in industrialized countries, while it occurs in 35-40% of such patients in Africa. DKA at the time of first diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is reported in only 2-3% in western Europe, but is seen in 95% of diabetic children in Sudan. Similar results were reported from other African countries . Consequences The latter observation is annoying because it implies the following: The late diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in many developing countries particularly in Africa. The late presentation of DKA, which is associated with risk of morbidity & mortality Death of young children with DKA undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed as malaria or meningitis. Pathophysiology Secondary to insulin deficiency, and the action of counter-regulatory hormones, blood glucose increases leading to hyperglycemia and glucosuria. Glucosuria causes an osmotic diuresis, leading to water & Na loss. In the absence of insulin activity the body fails to utilize glucose as fuel and uses fats instead. This leads to ketosis. Pathophysiology/2 The excess of ketone bodies will cause metabolic acidosis, the later is also aggravated by Lactic acidosis caused by dehydration & poor tissue perfusion. Vomiting due to an ileus, plus increased insensible water losses due to tachypnea will worsen the state of dehydr 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Why Does Diabetes Cause Excessive Thirst?

Why Does Diabetes Cause Excessive Thirst?

7 0 We’ve written before about the signs and symptoms of diabetes. While there are a lot of sources about what symptoms diabetes causes, and even some good information about why they’re bad for you, what you don’t often get are the “whys”. And while the “whys” aren’t necessarily critical for your long-term health, they can help you to understand what’s going on with your body and why it acts the way it does. That, in turn, can help with acceptance and understanding of how to better treat the symptoms, which in turn can help you stay on a good diabetes management regimen. In short, you don’t NEED to know why diabetes causes excessive thirst, but knowing the mechanism behind it can make your blood glucose control regimen make more sense and help you stick to it. So why DOES diabetes cause thirst? First, we’d like to start by saying that excessive thirst is not a good indicator of diabetes. For many people, the symptom creeps up so slowly that it’s almost impossible to determine if your thirst has noticeably increased (unless you keep a spreadsheet of how much water you drink, in which case you also probably get tested pretty regularly anyway). It’s also a common enough symptom that a sudden increase in thirst can mean almost anything. Some conditions that cause thirst increases include allergies, the flu, the common cold, almost anything that causes a fever, and dehydration caused by vomiting or diarrhea. So while excessive thirst is one of those diabetes symptoms that happens, and needs to be addressed, it’s not always a great sign that you should immediately go out and get an A1C test. Why does diabetes cause thirst? Excessive thirst, when linked to another condition as a symptom or comorbidity, is called polydipsia. It’s usually one of the Continue reading >>

Fluid Management In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Fluid Management In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Young people with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus are three times more likely to die in childhood than the general population.1 Despite advances in management over the past 20 years, the incidence of mortality associated with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) remains unchanged. Cerebral oedema is the predominant cause of this mortality; young children are particularly at risk, with an incidence of 0.7–1% of episodes of DKA.2,3 The mortality appears to be greatest among patients at first presentation,1,3,4 if there has been a long history of symptoms prior to admission,3 and during the first 24 hours of treatment.4 In a recently published retrospective multicentre analysis of children with DKA, low pco2 levels and high serum sodium concentration at presentation were identified as particular risk factors for the development of cerebral oedema, together with bicarbonate therapy.5 However, in the accompanying editorial, Dunger and Edge point out that this may simply be revealing an association between severe DKA and dehydration and the risk of cerebral oedema.6 The pathogenesis of cerebral oedema remains poorly understood but there may be many contributing factors.7 The aim of management of DKA is to restore metabolic homoeostasis while minimising the risks of complications including hypoglycaemia, hypokalaemia, cardiac failure, and in children the development of cerebral oedema. How best to achieve this remains contentious, with particular controversy centred on optimal fluid management. The most appropriate volume, type, and rate of fluid to be given have all been the subject of debate. A survey in 1994 of UK paediatricians found a threefold variation in the amount of fluid recommended within the first 12 hours.8 Since then national guidelines have been developed by the B Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Practice Essentials Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute, major, life-threatening complication of diabetes that mainly occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes, but it is not uncommon in some patients with type 2 diabetes. This condition is a complex disordered metabolic state characterized by hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, and ketonuria. Signs and symptoms The most common early symptoms of DKA are the insidious increase in polydipsia and polyuria. The following are other signs and symptoms of DKA: Nausea and vomiting; may be associated with diffuse abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and anorexia History of failure to comply with insulin therapy or missed insulin injections due to vomiting or psychological reasons or history of mechanical failure of insulin infusion pump Altered consciousness (eg, mild disorientation, confusion); frank coma is uncommon but may occur when the condition is neglected or with severe dehydration/acidosis Signs and symptoms of DKA associated with possible intercurrent infection are as follows: See Clinical Presentation for more detail. Diagnosis On examination, general findings of DKA may include the following: Characteristic acetone (ketotic) breath odor In addition, evaluate patients for signs of possible intercurrent illnesses such as MI, UTI, pneumonia, and perinephric abscess. Search for signs of infection is mandatory in all cases. Testing Initial and repeat laboratory studies for patients with DKA include the following: Serum electrolyte levels (eg, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus) Note that high serum glucose levels may lead to dilutional hyponatremia; high triglyceride levels may lead to factitious low glucose levels; and high levels of ketone bodies may lead to factitious elevation of creatinine levels. 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 >>

Understanding The Presentation Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Understanding The Presentation Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) must be considered while forming a differential diagnosis when assessing and managing a patient with an altered mental status. This is especially true if the patient has a history of diabetes mellitus (DM). However, be aware that the onset of DKA or HHNS may be the first sign of DM in a patient with no known history. Thus, it is imperative to obtain a blood glucose reading on any patient with an altered mental status, especially if the patient appears to be dehydrated, regardless of a positive or negative history of DM. In addition to the blood glucose reading, the history — particularly onset — and physical assessment findings will contribute to the formulation of a differential diagnosis and the appropriate emergency management of the patient. Pathophysiology of DKA The patient experiencing DKA presents significantly different from one who is hypoglycemic. This is due to the variation in the pathology of the condition. Like hypoglycemia, by understanding the basic pathophysiology of DKA, there is no need to memorize signs and symptoms in order to recognize and differentiate between hypoglycemia and DKA. Unlike hypoglycemia, where the insulin level is in excess and the blood glucose level is extremely low, DKA is associated with a relative or absolute insulin deficiency and a severely elevated blood glucose level, typically greater than 300 mg/dL. Due to the lack of insulin, tissue such as muscle, fat and the liver are unable to take up glucose. Even though the blood has an extremely elevated amount of circulating glucose, the cells are basically starving. Because the blood brain barrier does not require insulin for glucose to diffuse across, the brain cells are rece 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 >>

The Accuracy Of Clinical Assessment Of Dehydration During Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Childhood

The Accuracy Of Clinical Assessment Of Dehydration During Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Childhood

The objective of this study was to examine the accuracy of the assessment of clinical dehydration in children with type 1 diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA remains the single most common cause of diabetes-related death in childhood (1). Accurate assessment and management of dehydration is the cornerstone of DKA treatment (1,2). The assessment of the degree of dehydration has traditionally been according to clinical criteria including peripheral tissue perfusion and indicators of hemodynamic status (3). The clinical assessment of dehydration in children in common nonacidotic states (e.g., gastroenteritis) has been previously shown (4) to overestimate the degree of dehydration by ∼3.2%. There have been no comparable studies in either DKA or any other form of metabolic acidosis. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We studied a random convenience sample of 37 children with type 1 diabetes, newly or previously diagnosed, who presented to the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, with DKA. The patients were all <18 years of age and presented to the emergency department at Royal Children’s Hospital between 1996 and 2000. The study entry criteria were pH <7.30 (capillary, venous, or arterial) and/or bicarbonate <15 mmol/l and ketones in the urine on dipstick testing. The following information was recorded by the primary assessing doctor: newly diagnosed or established diabetes, age, sex, date and time seen, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, pale and/or cool hands and feet, peripheral capillary refill time, reduced skin turgor, level of consciousness (on a rating scale of one to eight), sunken eyes, sunken fontanelle, dry tongue, Kussmaul breathing, blood glucose level, and estimated degree of dehydration (clinical assessment). A second emergency department Continue reading >>

Dehydration And Diabetes

Dehydration And Diabetes

Tweet People with diabetes have an increased risk of dehydration as high blood glucose levels lead to decreased hydration in the body. Diabetes insipidus, a form of diabetes that is not linked with high blood sugar levels, also carries a higher risk of dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration The symptoms of dehydration include: Thirst Headache Dry mouth and dry eyes Dizziness Tiredness Dark yellow coloured urine Symptoms of severe dehydration Low blood pressure Sunken eyes A weak pulse and/or rapid heartbeat Feeling confused Lethargy Causes and contributory factors of dehydration The following factors can contribute to dehydration. Having more of these factors present at one time can raise the risk of dehydration: Dehydration and blood glucose levels If our blood glucose levels are higher than they should be for prolonged periods of time, our kidneys will attempt to remove some of the excess glucose from the blood and excrete this as urine. Whilst the kidneys filter the blood in this way, water will also be removed from the blood and will need replenishing. This is why we tend to have increased thirst when our blood glucose levels run too high. If we drink water, we can help to rehydrate the blood. The other method the body uses is to draw on other available sources of water from within the body, such as saliva, tears and taking stored water from cells of the body. This is why we may experience a dry mouth and dry eyes when our blood glucose levels are high. If we do not have access to drink water, the body will find it difficult to pass glucose out of the blood via urine and can result in further dehydration as the body seeks to find water from our body's cells. Treating dehydration Dehydration can be treated by taking on board fluids. Water is ideal because it has no add 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 >>

Differential Effects Of Fasting And Dehydration In The Pathogenesis Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Differential Effects Of Fasting And Dehydration In The Pathogenesis Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Abstract Glycemia varies widely in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), with plasma glucose concentrations between 10 to 50 mmol/L commonly encountered. The mechanism of this glycemic variability is uncertain. Our study examined the differential effects of fasting and dehydration on hyperglycemia induced by withdrawal of insulin in type 1 diabetes. To evaluate the respective roles of dehydration and fasting in the pathogenesis of DKA, 25 subjects with type 1 diabetes were studied during 5 hours of insulin withdrawal before (control) and after either 32 hours of fasting (n = 10) or dehydration of 4.1% +/- 2.0% of baseline body weight (n = 15). Samples were obtained every 30 minutes during insulin withdrawal for substrate and counterregulatory hormone levels and rates of glucose production and disposal. Fasting resulted in reduced plasma glucose concentrations compared with the control study, while dehydration resulted in increased plasma glucose concentrations compared with the control study (P < .001). Glucose production and disposal were decreased during the fasting study and increased during the dehydration study compared with the control study. Glucagon concentrations and rates of development of ketosis and metabolic acidosis were increased during both fasting and dehydration compared with control. These data suggest that fasting and dehydration have differential effects on glycemia during insulin deficiency, with dehydration favoring the development of hyperglycemia and fasting resulting in reduced glucose concentrations. This finding is probably attributable to the differing effect of these conditions on endogenous glucose production, as well as to differences in substrate availability and counterregulatory hormone concentrations. The severity of pre-existing Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergencies, Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults, Part 3

Diabetic Emergencies, Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Adults, Part 3

Clinical Management Treatment consists of rehydration with intravenous fluids, the administration of insulin, and replacement of electrolytes. General medical care and close supervision by trained medical and nursing staff is of paramount importance in the management of patients with DKA. A treatment flowchart (Table 1.3) should be used and updated meticulously. A urine catheter is necessary if the patient is in coma or if no urine is passed in the first 4 hours…. Replacement of water deficit Patients with DKA have severe dehydration. The amount of fluid needing to be administered depends on the degree of dehydration (Table 1.4). Fluid replacement aims at correction of the volume deficit and not to restore serum osmolality to normal. Isotonic solution NaCl (0.9%) (normal saline; osmolality 308 mOsm/kg) should be administered even in patients with high serum osmolality since this solution is hypotonic compared to the extracellular fluid of the patient. 10 The initial rate of fluid administration depends on the degree of volume depletion and underlying cardiac and renal function. In a young adult with normal cardiac and/or renal function 1 L of normal saline is administered intravenously within the first half- to one hour. In the second hour administer another 1 L, and between the third and the fifth hours administer 0.5–1 L per hour. Thus, the total volume in the first 5 hours should be 3.5–5 L [1]. If the patient is in shock or blood pressure does not respond to normal saline infusion, colloid solutions together with normal saline may be used.1,6 Some authors suggest replacement of normal saline with hypotonic (0.45%) saline solution after stabilization of the hemodynamic status of the patient and when corrected serum sodium levels are normal.8 However, this appro Continue reading >>

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