Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a high level of ketones in the body. DKA is a serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it is not promptly treated.
Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. Diabetes makes it hard for the body to use glucose. The body starts to breakdown fat for energy instead. Ketones are released with the breakdown of fat. The more fat is used, the higher ketone levels will be.
High blood glucose levels (greater than 250 mg per dL)
Dry mouth and skin
Symptoms that show emergency care is needed include:
Severe stomach pain
Rapid or difficult breathing
Vomiting and nausea
Fruity breath odor
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Blood and urine tests will be done.
Blood and urine will be checked for ketones.
The levels of glucose and other substances in your blood will be tested.
An arterial blood sample will be taken to test the amount of acid in your blood. This will determine how severe your DKA is.
Tests for infection may also be done.
may also be done. It will show any problems with your heart's electrical activity.
DKA is treated with insulin, fluids, and minerals. Care may need to take place in a hospital. Close monitoring, exams, and blood tests will be needed.
Insulin may be given by IV or injections. The insulin will let the body use glucose for fuel again. Fat will not be needed for fuel, new ketones will not be made. The body will then be able to get rid of the extra ketones.
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