Tips for Health

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

By on July 20, 2012 in Diseases, Health with 0 Comments

What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) happens when a combination of high blood sugar and insulin in the body causes insufficient accumulation of acids called ketones. Ketones are toxic. DKA, if left untreated, can lead to diabetic coma and even death. Mostly, it affects people with type 1 diabetes. However, it can also occur with other types of diabetes, including type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (during pregnancy).

What are the warning signs of DKA?

DKA is a very serious condition. People with diabetes should contact their doctor or go to a hospital immediately if symptoms of DKA occur. The first symptoms appear, in general, are:

  • Excessive thirst.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Frequent urination.
  • High or moderate ketones in the urine (which can be examined with a urine kit for home).
  • High level of blood sugar.

The next stage of the symptoms of DKA includes:

  • Vomiting (usually more than once).
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Confusion or trouble concentrating.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Breath with fruity odor.

How is DKA treated?

DKA causes excessive urination, which means you can become dehydrated, and that the body can lose electrolytes (minerals in the blood that help the body function). If DKA is diagnosed, your doctor is likely to treat you with fluids containing electrolytes and insulin (usually intravenously). Liquids can help rehydrate and dilute some of the sugar in the blood. The electrolytes help the body function normally. Insulin helps to reduce the level of blood sugar.

What else should I do?

When you are sick, drink plenty of fluids without sugar or caffeine. Sip small amounts every few minutes if you have an ill feeling stomach.

If your level of blood sugar is above 250 mg / dl, avoid foods high in carbohydrates.

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