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Why Is Ketoacidosis Life Threatening

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

What is alcoholic ketoacidosis? Cells need glucose (sugar) and insulin to function properly. Glucose comes from the food you eat, and insulin is produced by the pancreas. When you drink alcohol, your pancreas may stop producing insulin for a short time. Without insulin, your cells won’t be able to use the glucose you consume for energy. To get the energy you need, your body will start to burn fat. When your body burns fat for energy, byproducts known as ketone bodies are produced. If your body is not producing insulin, ketone bodies will begin to build up in your bloodstream. This buildup of ketones can produce a life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis, or metabolic acidosis, occurs when you ingest something that is metabolized or turned into an acid. This condition has a number of causes, including: shock kidney disease abnormal metabolism In addition to general ketoacidosis, there are several specific types. These types include: alcoholic ketoacidosis, which is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which mostly develops in people with type 1 diabetes starvation ketoacidosis, which occurs most often in women who are pregnant, in their third trimester, and experiencing excessive vomiting Each of these situations increases the amount of acid in the system. They can also reduce the amount of insulin your body produces, leading to the breakdown of fat cells and the production of ketones. Alcoholic ketoacidosis can develop when you drink excessive amounts of alcohol for a long period of time. Excessive alcohol consumption often causes malnourishment (not enough nutrients for the body to function well). People who drink large quantities of alcohol may not eat regularly. They may also vomit as a result of drinking too 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus. Before the availability of insulin in the 1920s, DKA was a uniformly fatal disorder. Even after the discovery of insulin, DKA continued to carry a grave prognosis with a reported mortality rate in humans ranging from 10% to 30%. However, with the expanding knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of DKA and the application of new treatment techniques for the complications of DKA, the mortality rate for this disorder has decreased to less than 5% in experienced human medical centers (Kitabchi et al, 2008). We have experienced a similar decrease in the mortality rate for DKA in our hospital over the past two decades. DKA remains a challenging disorder to treat, in part because of the deleterious impact of DKA on multiple organ systems and the frequent occurrence of concurrent often serious disorders that are responsible for the high mortality rate of DKA. In humans, the incidence of DKA has not decreased, appropriate therapy remains controversial, and patients continue to succumb to this complication of diabetes mellitus. This chapter summarizes current concepts regarding the pathophysiology and management of DKA in dogs and cats. • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a severe form of complicated diabetes mellitus that requires emergency care. • Acidosis and electrolyte abnormalities can be life threatening. • Fluid therapy and correction of electrolyte abnormalities are the two most important components of therapy. • Concurrent disease increases the risk for DKA and must be addressed as part of the diagnostic and therapeutic plan. • Bicarbonate therapy usually is not needed and its use is controversial. • About 70% of treated dogs and cats are discharged from the hospital after 5 to 6 days Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

As fat is broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine. In high levels, ketones are poisonous. This condition is known as ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is sometimes the first sign of type 1 diabetes in people who have not yet been diagnosed. It can also occur in someone who has already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Infection, injury, a serious illness, missing doses of insulin shots, or surgery can lead to DKA in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but it is less common. It is usually triggered by uncontrolled blood sugar, missing doses of medicines, or a severe illness. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Simulator: A New Learning Tool For A Life Threatening Condition

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Simulator: A New Learning Tool For A Life Threatening Condition

Isabel Huguet, J Joaquín Alfaro, César Gonzalvo, Cristina Lamas, Antonio Hernández & Francisco Botella Introduction: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) remains a life threatening complication in type 1 diabetes. Appropiate initial management is crucial in the evolution of this complex condition, and mistakes in the treatment are not uncommon. Medical simulation technology is a powerful tool for training physicians but papers dealing with DKA simulators are scarce. We introduce a new simulator designed in our institution aimed to junior doctors’ training in DKA treatment whose implementation permits physicians to solve more case than what they would manage in the Emergency Room. Material and methods: A software was developed by using mathematic algorithms based in previously published and empiric formulas to simulate the evolution of DKA both under appropriate and inappropriate management. Results: The DKA simulator shows several cases to the trainee. Every case is compound by a clinical history and some variables which define the basal situation of the simulated patient: sex, age, weight, glucose, 3-β-OH-butyrate, sodium, potassium, serum creatinine, renal function, grade of dehydration, insulin sensitivity and ability to hyperventilation. The last four parameters are not shown to the trainee, but used by the simulator. The trainee has to indicate the initial management, ask for biochemical test when necessary, and make successive changes in the treatment (iv insulin rate, type and rate of fluidotherapy and potassium administered) until DKA resolution is reached or, eventually, the death of the patient happens if the management has not been correct. By using mathematical algorithms, and according to the characteristics and the duration of the treatment, our simulator pro Continue reading >>

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you have diabetes, it's important to be familiar with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when lack of insulin and high blood sugar lead to potentially life-threatening chemical imbalances. The good news is DKA is largely preventable. Although DKA is more common with type 1 diabetes, it can also occur with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar causes excessive urination and spillage of sugar into the urine. This leads to loss of body water and dehydration as well as loss of important electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. The level of another electrolyte, bicarbonate, also falls as the body tries to compensate for excessively acidic blood. Video of the Day Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it is used for energy production. When insulin is lacking, cells must harness alternative energy by breaking down fat. Byproducts of this alternative process are called ketones. High concentrations of ketones acidify the blood, hence the term "ketoacidosis." Acidosis causes unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting and rapid breathing. Bicarbonate is an electrolyte that normally counteracts blood acidity. In DKA, the bicarbonate level falls as ketone production increases and acidosis progresses. Treatment of DKA includes prompt insulin supplementation to lower blood sugar, which leads to gradual restoration of the bicarbonate level. Potassium may be low in DKA because this electrolyte is lost due to excessive urination or vomiting. When insulin is used to treat DKA, it can further lower the blood potassium by pushing it into cells. Symptoms associated with low potassium include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle cramps and an irregular heart rhythm. Severely low potassium can lead to life-threatening heart rhythm abnorm Continue reading >>

A Possible Hypophosphatemia-induced, Life-threatening Encephalopathy In Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Case Report

A Possible Hypophosphatemia-induced, Life-threatening Encephalopathy In Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Case Report

ABSTRACT Hypophosphatemia, a common metabolic disorder, is usually silent and diagnosed by blood tests. However, misdiagnosis may result in delayed phosphate repletion, responsible for significant morbidity and potential mortality. We report an exceptional case of hypophosphatemia-related, life-threatening encephalopathy. A 49-year-old type-1 diabetic woman was admitted to our intensive care unit with coma and severe ketoacidosis. Initial neurologic impairment worsened despite improvement in acid-base disturbances and glucose levels. The electroencephalogram showed bilateral spikes with a background theta wave rhythm. Profound hypophosphatemia <0.20 mmol/L (<0.6 mg/dL) was diagnosed. No other cause of encephalopathy was found. Prompt phosphate repletion resulted in progressive and complete recovery. This observation allowed us to study the relations between the coma depth, the electroencephalographs findings, and the serum phosphate concentrations. Our data strongly suggest that phosphate depletion–induced encephalopathy probably originates from direct impairment of cerebral electrophysiological activity rather than from cardiac flow alteration. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Nclex Review

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Nclex Review

NCLEX review on Diabetic Ketoacidosis for nursing lecture exams and the NCLEX exam. DKA is a life-threatening condition of diabetes mellitus. It is important to know the differences between diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) because the two complications affect the diabetic patient. However, there are subtle difference between the two conditions. Don’t forget to take the DKA Quiz. In these notes you will learn about: Key Player of DKA Causes of DKA Signs and Symptoms of DKA Nursing Interventions of DKA Lecture on Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic Ketoacidosis Define: a complication of diabetes mellitus that is life-threatening, if not treated. It is due to the breakdown of fats which turn into ketones because there is no insulin present in the body to take glucose into the cell. Therefore, you will see hyperglycemia and ketosis and acidosis. Key Players of DKA: Glucose: fuels the cells so it can function. However, with DKA there is no insulin present to take the glucose into the cell…so the glucose is not used and the patient will experience hyperglycemia >300 mg/dL. Insulin: helps take glucose into the cell so the body can use it for fuel. In DKA, the body isn’t receiving enough insulin…so the GLUCOSE can NOT enter into the cell. The glucose floats around in the blood and the body starts to think it is starving because it cannot get to the glucose. Therefore, it looks elsewhere for energy. Liver & Glucagon: the body tries an attempt to use the glucose stores in the liver (because it doesn’t know there is a bunch of glucose floating around in the blood and thinks the body is experiencing hypoglycemia). In turn, the liver releases glucagon to turn glycogen stores into more GLUCOSE….so the patient becomes even more hyp Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Children

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: What is diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition caused by dangerously high blood sugar levels. Your child's blood sugar levels become high because his body does not have enough insulin. Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. The lack of insulin forces his body to use fat instead of sugar for energy. As fats are broken down, they leave chemicals called ketones that build up in the blood. Ketones are dangerous at high levels. What increases my child's risk for DKA? Not enough insulin Poorly controlled diabetes Infection or other illness Heart attack, stroke, trauma, or surgery Emotional stress Being female What are the signs and symptoms of DKA? Your child may feel very thirsty, and urinate more than usual. He may have a fever. He may also have any of the following: Dry mouth, eyes, and skin Fast, deep breathing Faster heartbeat than normal for him Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting Fruity, sweet breath Mood changes and irritability Feeling very weak, tired, and confused Weight loss How is DKA treated? DKA can be life-threatening. Your child must get immediate medical attention. The goal of treatment is to replace lost body fluids, and to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. How can I help prevent DKA? The best way to prevent DKA is to help your child control his diabetes. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information on how to manage your child's diabetes. The following may help decrease your child's risk for DKA: Monitor your child's blood sugar levels closely if he has an infection, is stressed, sick, or experiences trauma. Check his blood sugar levels often. You may need to check at least 3 times each day. If your child's blood sugar level is too high, Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when the body does not have enough insulin. Insulin is what breaks down sugar into energy. When insulin is not present to break down sugars, our body begins to break down fat. Fat break down produces ketones which spill into the urine and cause glucose build up in the blood, thus acidifying the body. Because sugar is not entering into our body’s cells for energy breakdown, the sugar is being processed by the kidneys and excreted through the urine; as a result, we become dehydrated and our blood becomes even more acidic. This leads to sickness and hospitalization if not treated. If a person’s blood sugar is over 240, they should start checking their blood for ketones. If you have diabetes, or love someone who does, being aware of warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can help save a life. Early Symptoms of DKA: High blood glucose level, usually > 300 High volume to ketones present in blood or urine Frequent urination or thirst that lasts for a day or more Dry skin and mouth Rapid shallow breathing Abdominal pain (especially in children) Muscle stiffness or aches Flushed face As DKA Worsens: Decreases alertness, confusion – brain is dehydrating Deep, labored, and gasping breathing Headache Breath that smells fruity or like fingernail polish remover Nausea and/or vomiting Abdomen may be tender and hurt if touched Decreased consciousness, coma, death If you think you might have DKA, test for ketones. If ketones are present, call your health care provider right away. To treat high blood sugar, hydrate with water or sugar free, caffeine free drinks. Sugar free popsicles and snacks are also good alternatives. Always call the doctor if vomiting goes on for more than two hours. Symptoms can go from mild 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 >>

Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)

Unfortunately, we veterinarians are seeing an increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. This is likely due to the growing prevalence of obesity (secondary to inactive lifestyle, a high carbohydrate diet, lack of exercise, etc.). So, if you just had a dog or cat diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, what do you do? First, we encourage you to take a look at these articles for an explanation of the disease: Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes) in Dogs Once you have a basic understanding of diabetes mellitus (or if you already had one), this article will teach you about life-threatening complications that can occur as a result of the disease; specifically, I discuss a life-threatening condition called diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) so that you know how to help prevent it! What is DKA? When diabetes goes undiagnosed, or when it is difficult to control or regulate, the complication of DKA can occur. DKA develops because the body is so lacking in insulin that the sugar can’t get into the cells -- resulting in cell starvation. Cell starvation causes the body to start breaking down fat in an attempt to provide energy (or a fuel source) to the body. Unfortunately, these fat breakdown products, called “ketones,” are also poisonous to the body. Symptoms of DKA Clinical signs of DKA include the following: Weakness Not moving (in cats, hanging out by the water bowl) Not eating to complete anorexia Large urinary clumps in the litter box (my guideline? If it’s bigger than a tennis ball, it’s abnormal) Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition Excessively dry or oily skin coat Abnormal breath (typically a sweet “ketotic” odor) In severe cases DKA can also result in more significant signs: Abnormal breathing pattern Jaundice Ab Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis, or simply DKA, is one of the complications of diabetes mellitus. It occurs suddenly, is severe and can be life-threatening if neglected. The diabetic ketoacidosis is a complex metabolic state comprising of increased blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia), increased production and presence of ketone acids in the blood (ketonemia) and acidic changes in the internal environment of the body (acidosis). These changes together constitute the diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is more common in persons with type – 1 as compared to type – 2 diabetes mellitus. Sometimes, it may be the first sign of diabetes mellitus in patients with no previous diagnosis of diabetes. In normal individuals, insulin hormone is produced and secreted by an organ called pancreas. Insulin is necessary for the entry of blood glucose into our cells. Insulin works like a key and unlocks the cellular gates to help glucose enter the cells. The cells use entered glucose to produce energy. In type – 1 diabetes mellitus, the pancreatic cells producing insulin are destroyed. This lack of insulin prevents the entry of blood glucose into our cells as the cellular gates are closed, increasing the blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). Our body cells starve and cannot utilize glucose for energy despite increased amounts of glucose in our blood. In this starving state, our body burns fats and produces ketones for energy purposes. Ketones have an advantage that they do not need insulin to enter into cells but the ketones also have a disadvantage that they are acidic in nature and when produced in excessive amounts, they change our body environment and make it acidic, which can be life-threatening. The patients often develop ketoacidosis when: They have missed their insulin doses T 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 >>

Severe Ketoacidosis (ph ≤ 6.9) In Type 2 Diabetes: More Frequent And Less Ominous Than Previously Thought

Severe Ketoacidosis (ph ≤ 6.9) In Type 2 Diabetes: More Frequent And Less Ominous Than Previously Thought

Go to: 1. Introduction Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening acute metabolic complication of uncontrolled diabetes. This illness results from the relative or absolute deficiency of insulin and an increase in counterregulatory hormones such as glucagon, cortisol, catecholamines, and growth hormone [1, 2]. Despite notable advances in treatment and use of novel drugs with multiple mechanisms of action, hospital admissions due to DKA have increased 30% in the US in the last decade [3]. Classically described in type 1 diabetes, DKA can also occur in type 2 diabetes during catabolic stress scenarios such as infections, surgery, and trauma or late during the natural history of the disease, when the beta-cell function is lost. Severe cases of DKA (pH ≤ 7.00, bicarbonate level ≤ 10.0, anion gap > 12, positive ketones, and altered mental status) are commonly encountered in patients with type 1 diabetes and are thought to carry an ominous prognosis [2, 4]. The acid-base status in particular has received great attention, due to the potential of bicarbonate-based therapy. There is not enough information on the clinical course of severely acidotic type 2 diabetes patients with DKA, possibly because this condition is rarely seen in developed countries, where there is greater control of diabetes and greater accessibility to medical services. In many developing countries like Mexico, severe DKA in type 2 diabetes patients is very common and represents a therapeutic challenge even for an experienced physician. Despite the fact that several guidelines describe the classification and treatment of severe DKA, most of the recommendations in this scenario are based on case reports and small case series that do not enable the physician to predict the true evolution of this seri Continue reading >>

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