Diabetes ketoacidosis – What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetes ketoacidosis is a condition that is brought on by untreated hyperglycemia. When the cells of our bodies are unable to receive the necessary blood glucose that it needs for energy, it begins to break down other fats found in our bodies along with our muscles so it can be used as energy.

When this happens, fatty acids otherwise known as ketones ( a fuel that is mainly for the brain) are created.

These ketone bodies would enter into the blood stream and cause a chemical imbalance known as ketosis.

This problem eventually leads to metabolic acidosis.

Because of this chemical imbalance, an individual would eventually develop diabetic ketoacidosis.

What are the known causes for diabetic ketoacidosis

known causes for this condition include:

  • Taking too little insulin.
  • Severe infections.
  • Severe dehydration.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a severe complication that is mostly diagnosed in individuals that have type 1 diabetes; however, if the blood glucose of individuals that have type 2 diabetes are to high, then they will also be at great risks for developing diabetic ketoacidosis.

Known symptoms of diabetes ketoacidosis

Individuals can have an elevated blood glucose that is unsafe before they begin to show any signs or symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. Known symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis are:

  • Trouble breathing (this happens in the early or middle stages of this illness).
  • Ketones in the urine.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Abdominal pains (these could be severe).
  • Vomiting.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Skin that is feels hot, dry and appear flushed (this also happens during the early or middle stages of ketoacidosis).
  • A fruity smell on the breath.

How is diabetes ketoacidosis prevented?

As I mentioned earlier, diabetic ketoacidosis is commonly diagnosed in individuals that have type 1 diabetes.

According to conclusive results carried out by a recent study, the illness is mostly found in type 1 diabetics.

It is due to the fact - that their bodies do not have any insulin, other than what they administer to themselves during their diabetes treatment.

However there are diabetic ketoacidosis guidelines that can help in preventing this illness. With following proper guidelines, preventing ketoacidosis can be achieved by:

  • Taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Checking the connections of your insulin pump to ensure that the tube is free from developing any air bubbles or leaks.
  • Checking the expiration date on your insulin treatment.
  • Checking the clarity of your insulin. Therefore making sure that it is free of any clumps.
  • Following your meal plans as directed or laid out by your diabetes health care team.
  • Making sure that you are following a exercise and fitness schedule regularly.
  • Making sure that you are properly monitoring your blood glucose level.

The advanced stage of diabetes ketoacidosis

Without immediate treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis, this condition could quickly become worst and eventually cause unconsciousness of a-in a diabetic individual. This is what is called the advanced stage of the illness which is brought on by several known factors. These include:

  • Severe hyperglycemia.
  • Dehydration.
  • Shock.
  • Exhaustion.

The level of consciousness for an individual suffering from the advance stage of diabetic ketoacidosis, is some what normal at this point. However their consciousness can become affected as their condition progresses. The alertness level of the victim is reduced, to the point of complete unconsciousness. This can eventually lead to a state of diabetic ketoacidosis coma.

This normally only happens about 36 hours after the symptoms of vomiting and hyperventilation have occurred.

Treatment for diabetes ketoacidosis

Unfortunately when an individual has a severe attack of diabetes ketoacidosis, they have to be hospitalized. This so that diabetic ketoacidosis treatment to restore their body's electrolytes can begin. Treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis normally involves an individual receiving an insulin treatment along with other fluids intravenously.

This treatment will normally take a few days because the blood glucose and electrolytes of the victim have to be brought down to a safe level. The truth of the matter is that if the sodium and potassium level of the victim are low, this type of treatment is an absolute must.

This is safely accomplished with the victim placed in the intensive care unit due to the severity of their illness.

Ideally, the whole purpose of the hospitalization, is to quickly get the diabetes ketoacidosis victim electrolytes restored in the shortest time possible.

This is achieved through circulation and perfusion. This procedure will help the victim to quickly become re-hydrated without serious complications.

Complications associated with diabetes ketoacidosis

For starters, people that have this condition require round the clock monitoring for signs of other complications that could arise. The reasons for this is that many of the known complications for diabetic ketoacidosis, are normally caused by the treatment of the illness itself.

Victims of diabetes ketoacidosis may experience complications such as:

  • Hyperglycemia.
  • Cerebral Edema.
  • Hypokalemia.
  • Ketoacidema.

  • Fluid depletion - which leads to electrolyte depletion.
  • Pulmonary Edema.
  • Aspiration.
  • Renal Tubular Necrosis.

Don't become a mortality rate through ignorance. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an acute and dangerous complication and when it occurs, it is always a medical emergency. This condition will caused the pH of the blood to be reduced, which can lead to other complications such as hypotension (low blood pressure), diabetic coma, shock, and eventually death.

Diabetes complications can be avoided or delayed and even less severe, if diabetics would properly manage their blood glucose. In fact the better these individuals manage their illness, the lower their risks for developing any diabetes complications. This includes diabetes ketoacidosis.

Diabetes ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes mellitus!

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