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Diabetic Ketoacidosis Information

Author: Juliet Cohen

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is usually triggered by a stressful event, such as an illness or another health problem. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus. Diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in people with type 1 diabetes, but may also occur in those with type 2 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a state of inadequate insulin levels resulting in high blood sugar and accumulation of organic acids and ketones in the blood. It is also common in DKA to have severe dehydration and significant alterations of the body's blood chemistry. DKA is usually seen in people who have type 1 diabetes. Most often, these are diabetics younger than 25 years, but the condition may occur in diabetics of any age. Males and females are equally affected.

The most common events that cause person with diabetes to enter a state of diabetic ketoacidosis are infection and missed insulin. People with type 2 diabetes usually develop ketoacidosis only under conditions of severe stress. Various other causes may include a heart attack, stroke, trauma, stress, and surgery. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people younger than 19, but may occur at any age. The high-risk time for developing ketoacidosis is when a person is unwell, as part of the body's response to illness and infection is to release more glucose into the bloodstream. Signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in less than 24 hours. Elevated blood sugar and high levels of ketones in your blood are typical signs of DKA.

Other signs and symptoms may include excessive thirst or urination, weakness and fatigue, deep, slow breathing ,nausea, vomiting and stomach pain ,decreased appetite and weight loss and fruity-scented breath. The goal of treatment is to correct the elevated blood glucose level by giving additional insulin, and to replace fluids lost through excessive urination and vomiting. Home care is generally directed toward preventing diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugars at least 3-4 times a day. Treat moderate elevations in blood sugar with additional injections of a short-acting form of insulin. Insulin pump users need to frequently check to see that insulin is still flowing through the tubing, and that no blockages, kinks, or disconnections have occurred.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Always take the insulin injection on time.

2. Monitor your blood sugar and ketone levels at home.

3. Intravenous fluid replacement to reverse the dehydration.

4 Insulin administration to prevent further ketone formation.

5. Don't exercise when your urine tests show ketones and your blood glucose is high.

6. Sometimes an insulin pump is also recommended.

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About the Author

Juliet Cohen writes articles for Women Health. She also writes articles for Early Pregnancy and Pregnancy Calendar.