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Why Is Potassium High In Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Snap Shot A 12 year old boy, previously healthy, is admitted to the hospital after 2 days of polyuria, polyphagia, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Vital signs are: Temp 37C, BP 103/63 mmHg, HR 112, RR 30. Physical exam shows a lethargic boy. Labs are notable for WBC 16,000, Glucose 534, K 5.9, pH 7.13, PCO2 is 20 mmHg, PO2 is 90 mmHg. Introduction Complication of type I diabetes result of ↓ insulin, ↑ glucagon, growth hormone, catecholamine Precipitated by infections drugs (steroids, thiazide diuretics) noncompliance pancreatitis undiagnosed DM Presentation Symptoms abdominal pain vomiting Physical exam Kussmaul respiration increased tidal volume and rate as a result of metabolic acidosis fruity, acetone odor severe hypovolemia coma Evaluation Serology blood glucose levels > 250 mg/dL due to ↑ gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis arterial pH < 7.3 ↑ anion gap due to ketoacidosis, lactic acidosis ↓ HCO3- consumed in an attempt to buffer the increased acid hyponatremia dilutional hyponatremia glucose acts as an osmotic agent and draws water from ICF to ECF hyperkalemia acidosis results in ICF/ECF exchange of H+ for K+ moderate ketonuria and ketonemia due to ↑ lipolysis β-hydroxybutyrate > acetoacetate β-hydroxybutyrate not detected with normal ketone body tests hypertriglyceridemia due to ↓ in capillary lipoprotein lipase activity activated by insulin leukocytosis due to stress-induced cortisol release H2PO4- is increased in urine, as it is titratable acid used to buffer the excess H+ that is being excreted Treatment Fluids Insulin with glucose must prevent resultant hypokalemia and hypophosphatemia labs may show pseudo-hyperkalemia prior to administartion of fluid and insulin due to transcellular shift of potassium out of the cells to balance the H+ be Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis-induced Hyperkalemia

Diabetic Ketoacidosis-induced Hyperkalemia

Abstract We report the biochemical data of 22 hospital admissions because of untreated diabetic ketoacidosis. Fifty percent of admitted patients showed an initial serum potassium between 4.6 and 6.0 mEq/1 whereas severe hyperkalemia (value>6.1 mEq/l) occurred in 32%. Initial potassium levels show a slight negative correlation with pH but a stronger correlation (p<0.001) was found between the initial serum potassium and glucose values. We suggest that hyperglycemia due to insulinopenia must be one of the factors in the pathogenesis of this hyperkalemia. Preview Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. 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

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 >>

Causes And Evaluation Of Hyperkalemia In Adults

Causes And Evaluation Of Hyperkalemia In Adults

INTRODUCTION Hyperkalemia is a common clinical problem. Potassium enters the body via oral intake or intravenous infusion, is largely stored in the cells, and is then excreted in the urine. The major causes of hyperkalemia are increased potassium release from the cells and, most often, reduced urinary potassium excretion (table 1). This topic will review the causes and evaluation of hyperkalemia. The clinical manifestations, treatment, and prevention of hyperkalemia, as well as a detailed discussion of hypoaldosteronism (an important cause of hyperkalemia), are presented elsewhere. (See "Clinical manifestations of hyperkalemia in adults" and "Treatment and prevention of hyperkalemia in adults" and "Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoaldosteronism (type 4 RTA)".) BRIEF REVIEW OF POTASSIUM PHYSIOLOGY An understanding of potassium physiology is helpful when approaching patients with hyperkalemia. Total body potassium stores are approximately 3000 meq or more (50 to 75 meq/kg body weight) [1]. In contrast to sodium, which is the major cation in the extracellular fluid and has a much lower concentration in the cells, potassium is primarily an intracellular cation, with the cells containing approximately 98 percent of body potassium. The intracellular potassium concentration is approximately 140 meq/L compared with 4 to 5 meq/L in the extracellular fluid. The difference in distribution of the two cations is maintained by the Na-K-ATPase pump in the cell membrane, which pumps sodium out of and potassium into the cell in a 3:2 ratio. The ratio of the potassium concentrations in the cells and the extracellular fluid is the major determinant of the resting membrane potential across the cell membrane, which sets the stage for the generation of the action potential that is e Continue reading >>

Hyperkalemia (high Blood Potassium)

Hyperkalemia (high Blood Potassium)

How does hyperkalemia affect the body? Potassium is critical for the normal functioning of the muscles, heart, and nerves. It plays an important role in controlling activity of smooth muscle (such as the muscle found in the digestive tract) and skeletal muscle (muscles of the extremities and torso), as well as the muscles of the heart. It is also important for normal transmission of electrical signals throughout the nervous system within the body. Normal blood levels of potassium are critical for maintaining normal heart electrical rhythm. Both low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia) and high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia) can lead to abnormal heart rhythms. The most important clinical effect of hyperkalemia is related to electrical rhythm of the heart. While mild hyperkalemia probably has a limited effect on the heart, moderate hyperkalemia can produce EKG changes (EKG is a reading of theelectrical activity of the heart muscles), and severe hyperkalemia can cause suppression of electrical activity of the heart and can cause the heart to stop beating. Another important effect of hyperkalemia is interference with functioning of the skeletal muscles. Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis is a rare inherited disorder in which patients can develop sudden onset of hyperkalemia which in turn causes muscle paralysis. The reason for the muscle paralysis is not clearly understood, but it is probably due to hyperkalemia suppressing the electrical activity of the muscle. Common electrolytes that are measured by doctors with blood testing include sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. The functions and normal range values for these electrolytes are described below. Hypokalemia, or decreased potassium, can arise due to kidney diseases; excessive losses due to heavy sweating Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Snap Shot A 12 year old boy, previously healthy, is admitted to the hospiral after 2 days of polyuria, polyphagia, nausea, vomting and abdominal pain. Temp is 37, BP 103/63, HR 112, RR 30. Physical exam shows a lethargic boy. Glucose is 534, Potasium is 5.9; WBC 16,000, pH is 7.13, PCO2 is 20 mmHg, PO2 is 90 mmHg. Introduction Results from absolute deficiency in insulin surge in counterregulatory homones (glucagon, growth hormone, catecholamine) results in hyperglycemia and ketonemia Most common in type I diabetes Precipitated by infections drugs (steroids, thiazide diuretics) noncompliance pancreatitis Presentation Symptoms vomiting abdominal pain fruity, acetone odor severely dehydrated cerebral edema associated with high mortality in pediatric patients Evaluation Diagnostic criteria blood glucose levels > 250 mg/dL Arterial pH < 7.3 expect to see an increase in free calcium since the excess hydrogen displaces calcium from albumin Serum bicarbonate < 15mEq/L Moderate ketonuria and ketonemia Labs show: Treatment Fluids Insulin with glucose give insulin until ketones are gone, even after glucose normalizes or is below normal Replace potasium for hypokalemia caused by too much potassium being secreted in the urine as a result of the glucosuria labs may show pseudo-hyperkalemia due to transcellular shift of potassium out of the cells to balance the H being transfered into the cells give in the form of potassium phosphate rather than potasium chloride Aggresive electrolyte replacement give phosphate supplementation to prevent respiratory paralysis If mental status changes (headache, obtundation, coma) occur during treatment likely due to cerebral edema give mannitol Follow anion gap to monitor improvement Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis This is a life threatening, medical emergency. This is the most common way for new type 1 diabetics to present. Ketogenesis Ketogenesis occurs when there is insufficient glucose supply and glycogen stores are exhausted (such as prolonged fasting): The liver takes fatty acids and converts them to ketones. Ketones are water soluble fatty acids that can be used as fuel. They can cross the blood brain barrier and be used by the brain as fuel. Producing ketones is normal and not harmful in healthy patients when under fasting conditions or low carbohydrate, high fat diets. Ketones levels can be measured in the urine (dip stick) and blood (by ketone meter). People in ketosis (producing ketones) have a characteristic acetone smell to their breath. Ketone acids (ketones) are buffered in normal patients, so the blood does not become acidotic. When underlying pathology (i.e. Type 1 Diabetes) causes extreme hyperglycaemic ketosis, this results in a metabolic acidosis that is life threatening (see below). Diabetic Ketoacidosis Pathophysiology When there is no insulin, the cells of the body cannot take glucose from the blood and use it for fuel Therefore, the cells think the body is being fasted and has no glucose supply Meanwhile, the level of glucose in the blood keeps rising (hyperglycaemia) Ketoacidosis Because the cells in the body have no fuel and think they are starving, they initiate the process of ketogenesis, so that they have a usable fuel Over time, the patient gets higher and higher glucose and ketones levels Initially, the kidney produces bicarbonate to counteract the acidic blood and maintain a normal pH Over time, the ketone acids uses up the bicarbonate and the blood starts to become acidic (ketoacidosis) Dehydration The hyperglycaemia overwhelm 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 >>

Hyperkalaemia In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Hyperkalaemia In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Dear Editor, I have a brief comment on the informative ‘Lesson of the week’ by Moulik and colleagues, describing an association between hyperkalaemia and an ECG pattern suggesting acute myocardial infarction in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). One of the mechanisms of hyperkalaemia in DKA stated at the beginning of the Discussion is not strictly correct. It is inorganic acids, and not organic acids (including lactic acid), that cause hyperkalaemia as a result of potassium ions leaving cells in ‘exchange’ for hydrogen ion entry (and their intracellular buffering). In DKA, the key mechanism is lack of insulin, which is probably the most important short-term regulator of plasma potassium concentration (through stimulation of the cell ‘sodium’ pump – Na,K-ATPase) and defence against acute hyperkalaemia resulting from our daily intake of potassium (~80 mmol): The extracellular pool of potassium is around 65 mmol and could almost double after a single steak meal (~50 mmol), which is too rapid a change for compensatory renal excretion. In DKA, an additional mechanism is the osmotic shrinkage of cells as a result of the high plasma glucose concentration (and plasma osmolality), which steepens the intracellular to extracellular potassium concentration gradient and thereby causes an increase in potassium ion loss from cells. Of course, these observations do not materially alter the management of DKA, but only serve to emphasise the importance of inulin administration, glucose control and re-salination over the use (though not excluding it in severe metabolic acidosis) of bicarbonate, bearing in mind that such patients have usually become potassium depleted as a consequence of earlier increased renal losses, and therefore risk developing significant hypoka Continue reading >>

The Power Of Potassium

The Power Of Potassium

We’ve talked about several different minerals in past blog entries. Potassium is the mineral of choice for this week’s post for several reasons, and it’s a mineral that people with kidney problems should be sure to pay close attention to. What potassium does in the body First, let’s explore what potassium does in the body. This mineral is often referred to as an “electrolyte.” Electrolytes are electrically charged particles, called ions, which our cells use to maintain voltage across our cell membranes and carry electrical impulses, such as nerve impulses, to other cells. (Bet you didn’t think you had all this electrical activity in your body, did you?) Some of the main electrolytes in our bodies, besides potassium, are sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Your kidneys help regulate the amount of electrolytes in the body. Potassium’s job is to help nerve conduction, help regulate your heartbeat, and help your muscles contract. It also works to maintain proper fluid balance between your cells and body fluids. The body is a fine-tuned machine in that, as long as it’s healthy and functioning properly, things will work as they should. This means that, as long as your kidneys are working up to par, they’ll regulate the amount of potassium that your body needs. However, people with diabetes who have kidney disease need to be especially careful of their potassium intake, as levels can get too high in the body when the kidneys don’t work as they should. Too much potassium is just as dangerous as too little. Your physician can measure the amount of potassium in your blood with a simple blood test. A normal, or “safe” level of potassium is between 3.7 and 5.2 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Levels below or above this range are a cause for concer 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 >>

Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Children And Adolescents

Management Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Children And Adolescents

Objectives After completing this article, readers should be able to: Describe the typical presentation of diabetic ketoacidosis in children. Discuss the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. Explain the potential complications of diabetic ketoacidosis that can occur during treatment. Introduction Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) represents a profound insulin-deficient state characterized by hyperglycemia (>200 mg/dL [11.1 mmol/L]) and acidosis (serum pH <7.3, bicarbonate <15 mEq/L [15 mmol/L]), along with evidence of an accumulation of ketoacids in the blood (measurable serum or urine ketones, increased anion gap). Dehydration, electrolyte loss, and hyperosmolarity contribute to the presentation and potential complications. DKA is the most common cause of death in children who have type 1 diabetes. Therefore, the best treatment of DKA is prevention through early recognition and diagnosis of diabetes in a child who has polydipsia and polyuria and through careful attention to the treatment of children who have known diabetes, particularly during illnesses. Presentation Patients who have DKA generally present with nausea and vomiting. In individuals who have no previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, a preceding history of polyuria, polydipsia, and weight loss usually can be elicited. With significant ketosis, patients may have a fruity breath. As the DKA becomes more severe, patients develop lethargy due to the acidosis and hyperosmolarity; in severe DKA, they may present with coma. Acidosis and ketosis cause an ileus that can lead to abdominal pain severe enough to raise concern for an acutely inflamed abdomen, and the elevation of the stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol in DKA can lead to an elevation in the white blood cell count, suggesting infection. Thus, leukocytosi Continue reading >>

Hyperkalemia In Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Hyperkalemia In Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Abstract Patients with diabetic ketoacidosis tend to have somewhat elevated serum K+ concentrations despite decreased body K+ content. The hyperkalemia was previously attributed mainly to acidemia. However, recent studies have suggested that "organic acidemias" (such as that produced by infusing beta-hydroxybutyric acid) may not cause hyperkalemia. To learn which, if any, routinely measured biochemical indices might correlate with the finding of hyperkalemia in diabetic ketoacidosis, we analyzed the initial pre-treatment values in 131 episodes in 91 patients. Serum K+ correlated independently and significantly (p less than 0.001) with blood pH (r = -0.39), serum urea N (r = 0.38) and the anion gap (r = 0.41). The mean serum K+ among the men was 5.55 mmol/l, significantly higher than among the women, 5.09 mmol/l (p less than 0.005). Twelve of the 16 patients with serum K+ greater than or equal to 6.5 mmol/l were men, as were all eight patients with serum K+ greater than or equal to 7.0 mmol/l. Those differences paralleled a significantly higher mean serum urea N concentration among the men (15.1 mmol/l) than the women (11.2 mmol/l, p less than 0.01). The greater tendency to hyperkalemia among the men in this series may have been due partly to their greater renal dysfunction during the acute illness. However, other factors that were not assessed, such as cell K+ release associated with protein catabolism, and insulin deficiency per se, may also have affected serum K+ in these patients. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Abbas E. Kitabchi, PhD., MD., FACP, FACE Professor of Medicine & Molecular Sciences and Maston K. Callison Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism UT Health Science Center, 920 Madison Ave., 300A, Memphis, TN 38163 Aidar R. Gosmanov, M.D., Ph.D., D.M.Sc. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 920 Madison Avenue, Suite 300A, Memphis, TN 38163 Clinical Recognition Omission of insulin and infection are the two most common precipitants of DKA. Non-compliance may account for up to 44% of DKA presentations; while infection is less frequently observed in DKA patients. Acute medical illnesses involving the cardiovascular system (myocardial infarction, stroke, acute thrombosis) and gastrointestinal tract (bleeding, pancreatitis), diseases of endocrine axis (acromegaly, Cushing`s syndrome, hyperthyroidism) and impaired thermo-regulation or recent surgical procedures can contribute to the development of DKA by causing dehydration, increase in insulin counter-regulatory hormones, and worsening of peripheral insulin resistance. Medications such as diuretics, beta-blockers, corticosteroids, second-generation anti-psychotics, and/or anti-convulsants may affect carbohydrate metabolism and volume status and, therefore, could precipitateDKA. Other factors: psychological problems, eating disorders, insulin pump malfunction, and drug abuse. It is now recognized that new onset T2DM can manifest with DKA. These patients are obese, mostly African Americans or Hispanics and have undiagnosed hyperglycemia, impaired insulin secretion, and insulin action. A recent report suggests that cocaine abuse is an independent risk factor associated with DKA recurrence. Pathophysiology In Continue reading >>

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