Diabetes Care

Topic: Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis often occurs in type 1 diabetic patients but can also happen in any type of diabetes. As an acute complication, ketoacidosis is highly dangerous and can lead to coma and even death. Ketoacidosis mainly results from insulin insufficiency, a condition where the human body cannot use glucose to obtain energy. Hence, the body dissolves fat for energy. The ketone bodies produced from the metabolic process build up. Excessive amount of ketone bodies eventually increases the acidity of the blood and results in ketoemia.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: thirst, frequent urination, high blood sugar, urine ketone, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and Kussmaul respiration which is breath with fruity odor. The possible cause of ketoacidosis encompasses: lack of insulin medication, infection, illness and intensive stress. When the body suffers from infection, illness or intensive stress accompanied by high blood sugar ≥240mg/dL (13.3mmol/L), the level of blood sugar and urine ketone should be closely monitored. If urine ketone is found in the urine, medical treatment should be sought immediately.

With excellent control and regular monitoring of blood sugar, and adequate pressure relief measures, diabetic ketoacidosis can be effectively prevented.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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