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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If they do not receive the proper treatment for their condition, they are physiologically starving themselves, despite the high blood sugar level, their body is starved for fuel. The body's way of trying to sustain itself is by metabolizing stored fat as an alternative way to be able to meet the body's demand for fuel and energy. This abnormal metabolism of fat is a serious metabolic derangement called diabetic ketoacidosis or also know as DKA. The byproducts of the fat burned are ketones and fatty acids which are toxic to the body. The presence of this condition may be detected by using a dipstick test which gives a color change in the presence of ketones in the urine.

Aside from the presence of ketones in urine, another symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA is having a acetone fruity breath. This is brought about the release of ketones by the lungs. Since the production of ketone is faster than the body can get ride of them, accumulation of this substance occurs in the blood and life threatening diabetic ketoacidosis develops.

If diabetic ketoacidosis persists, it may lead to the dehydration of the brain cells, and may result in a comatose condition. This severe condition is typically seen when type 1 diabetes is left untreated. Type 2 diabetes rarely develops into this condition, although they are still prone to having it especially when under extreme stress from trauma, illness, or infection. They should always have their urine tested regularly during these times to monitor for ketones.

Diabetic ketoacidosis does not occur suddenly but is a condition that happens gradually giving the patient plenty of time to treat the underlying condition of diabetes and subsequently treat diabetic ketoacidosis. This is why care and control must be given when diagnosed with diabetes to avoid further conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis and other life-threatening complications.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • No appetite
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches, muscle pains
  • Increased urination and thirst

    Diabetic Ketoacidosis Signs

  • Ketones in urine
  • Acetone breath
  • Dehydration with poor skin tone
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Rapid pulse
  • Mental confusion
  • Rapid labored breathing
  • Decreased reflexes
  • High blood sugar most range between 200mg/dl-800mg/dl
    Test for Ketones
  • When blood sugar levels exceed 250 mg/dl
  • During any illness, especially when associated with high fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Routinely during pregnancy
  • When you have difficulty concentrating
  • When you feel chronically fatigued
  • If you experience disturbances in breathing
  • When your breath has a fruity, acetone like odor

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