Diabetes is one of the most serious, and most common, chronic conditions, and it is something that all people should take very seriously. One of the worst parts of having diabetes is the fact that the disease has such a high complication rate. From eye problems to circulation issues that can cost suffers their limbs, there are many possible problems that stem from diabetes.
One such complication is known as diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious problem that happens when the body produces high levels of a blood acid known as a ketone. These high ketone levels can be very dangerous, and it is imprint for anyone who suspects they have diabetic ketoacidosis to be evaluated as soon as possible.
Diabetic ketoacidosis stems from too little insulin in the blood. When there is not enough insulin in the blood, the body can begin to break down fat to burn for fuel. During this process toxic acids in the bloodstream, known as ketones, begin to develop, and if left untreated full blown diabetic ketoacidosis can result.
Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you do suspect diabetic ketoacidosis, you need to get to an urgent care center or emergency room at once. This condition can be very dangerous if left untreated. Depending on the severity of the problem and the outcome of various tests, sufferers might be admitted to the hospital or released to the care of their doctors.
Treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis generally follows a three pronged approach. This combination approach gets to the root of the problem and begins to treat it promptly, before additional damage can occur. The treatment protocol for diabetic ketoacidosis consists of:
1. Replacing fluids - fluid replacement is an important part of any treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis. Sufferers will typically receive fluids, either orally or intravenously until proper hydration levels are achieved. Dehydration is a very dangerous thing for diabetics, particularly those at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.
2. Electrolyte replacement - electrolyte levels are critical for those suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, and electrolyte replacement is a key part of the treatment for the condition. Low levels of insulin can affect the balance of electrolytes like potassium, chloride and sodium, and that electrolyte imbalance can be very dangerous. Those suffering from diabetic acidosis will typically receive intravenous electrolytes until proper balance is restored.
3. Insulin therapy - since low insulin levels play such a critical role in diabetic ketoacidosis, insulin therapy is a key component of treatment. Those suffering from this common diabetes complication will receive insulin therapy to restore blood sugar levels to acceptable levels. This insulin therapy is generally administered intravenously but after levels have stabilized the patient may be put back on his or her regular insulin regimen.
After the acute problem with diabetic ketoacidosis has passed, the focus shifts to determining what factors triggered the attack. Your doctor will work with you to find an insulin therapy plan that will keep your blood sugar levels under control and help prevent further complications from this very common chronic condition.