Diabetic Ketoacidosis : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Originally posted on October 1, 2022 @ 8:20 pm

Diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA, is a buildup of acids in your blood. It may occur when your blood sugar is excessively high for an extended period of time. DKA is a major problem that can happen because of diabetes. It can be fatal, but it usually takes many hours to get to that point.

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis ?

DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis, is a buildup of acids in your blood. It may occur when your blood sugar is excessively high for an extended period of time. DKA is a major consequence of diabetes and has the potential to be fatal, but it typically takes many hours for it to reach that level of severity. You can both treat and avoid it.

Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may even be your first indication that you have diabetes because they might arise suddenly. Some signs are:

  • Mouth arid
  • Dry skin
  • I’m terribly thirsty.
  • Regular urination
diabetes ketoacidosis
diabetes ketoacidosis
  • Vomiting or feeling nauseous
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Fuzziness or decreased alertness.
  • Fresh face
  • Headache
  • Aching muscles
  • breath that smells good.
  • Stomach ache
  • Respiration difficulty

If you have any of the following symptoms and a home kit reveals moderate to high levels of ketones, call your doctor or get straight to the emergency department. If you experience more than one symptom,

More than two hours have passed since you last ate.

  • You have nausea or abdominal pain.
  • You have a fruity breath odor.
  • You feel drowsy, lost, or bewildered.
  • Breathing is difficult for you.

The Causes and Risk Factors for Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The main cause of diabetic ketoacidosis is a lack of insulin in the body. Because your cells can’t use blood sugar for energy, they must instead burn fat. The ketones that are produced when fat is burned They could amass in your blood if the procedure continues for a while. The extra can mess up your system as a whole and change the way your blood is made.

diabetes ketoacidosis
diabetes ketoacidosis

Due to their inability to produce insulin, people with type 1 diabetes are at risk of developing ketoacidosis. Your ketones may also increase if you:

  • Pass up a meal.
  • either ill or stressed.
  • have a reaction to insulin
  • I haven’t given myself enough insulin.

Type 2 diabetics can have DKA, but it’s uncommon. You are more likely to get the illness known as HHNS, which has some comparable symptoms, if you have type 2, especially as you age (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome). Serious dehydration may result.

DKA risk elements include

even if type 1 diabetes is not yet diagnosed.

  • Missed insulin doses occur frequently.
  • Using insulin other than as directed
  • stomach ailment
  • Infections
  • such as a heart attack or heart disease.
  • latest stroke
  • Lung-related blood clot
  • Is there any trauma or serious disease?
  • Pregnancy
  • Surgery
  • drugs such as steroids or antipsychotics.
  • using illicit substances such as cocaine.

Tests and Diagnosis of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you have any of the above signs of high blood sugar, like a dry mouth, a lot of thirst, or the need to go to the bathroom often, or if your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dL, you should get your ketones checked.

Using a urine test strip, you can determine your blood sugar levels. Some glucose meters can also measure ketones. Reduce your blood sugar levels and recheck your ketones in 30 minutes.

Your medical professional can conduct a physical examination of you, inquire about your symptoms, and go over your medical background.

To identify DKA, they can also request the following tests:

  • Bloodwork, including an electrolyte and metabolic panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood gases in circulation
  • Anxiety levels
  • examinations to detect infection
  • imaging of the chest.
  • Electrocardiogram

Treatment of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

You risk losing consciousness, slipping into a coma, or even passing away if you don’t treat ketoacidosis. In order to treat DKA, you need to visit a hospital. You can get emergency medical care there, like

  • To lower your ketones, receive insulin intravenously.
  • Fluids help hydrate you and restore equilibrium to your blood chemistry.
  • Electrolyte replacement through an IV replaces important minerals like sodium, potassium, and chloride to keep your heart, muscles, and nerves working well.
  • Antibiotics are recommended if you are infected.
  • A second heart examination is recommended if your doctor thinks you could suffer a heart attack.

Diabetes Complications: Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you don’t have emergency medications like insulin and electrolyte replacement, problems from DKA may occur. They comprise:

READ ALSO Hypoglycemia : Low Blood Sugar : Prevention and Treatment

Having hypoglycemia or low blood sugar

  • Hypokalemia, or a lack of potassium
  • If blood sugar levels are changed too quickly, cerebral edema (brain swelling) may occur.
  • Brain function is lost.
  • Death
  • Preventing Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Your doctor may adjust the amount or kind of insulin you take to prevent DKA from occurring again.

You can prevent ketoacidosis in the future with good blood sugar management. Be careful to control your diabetes with a healthy diet, regular exercise, prescription drugs, and self-care.

diabetic ketoacidosis
diabetic ketoacidosis

To help avoid DKA, take the following actions:

  • Consume liquids frequently without added sugar or alcoholic beverages.
  • Obey the directions on your prescriptions.
  • Observe your diet strictly.
  • Maintain your fitness routine.
  • Make routine blood sugar checks.
  • Look for insulin that has expired.
  • If there are clumps in your insulin dose, do not use it. Either the insulin should be clear or uniformly hazy with tiny particles.
  • Check your tube connections for air bubbles, and check your insulin pump carefully for leaks.
  • Talk to your doctor if your blood sugar levels are always above or below the recommended range.
  • Manage your insulin dosage with the assistance of your physician or diabetes educator. Make modifications depending on your blood sugar levels, what you eat, how active you are, or if you are ill.
  • Make a DKA emergency strategy. Make a plan to visit the hospital if your blood sugar levels are too high or your urine contains an excessive amount of ketones.

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