An Introduction to Diabetic Ketoacidosis

alcohol abuse

Story at-a-glance -

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis can result in increased urination and dehydration due to increased amounts of glucose, as the kidneys aren’t able to retain the extra glucose once blood sugar levels rise
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis tends to be highest among people who have Type 1 diabetes and/or frequently miss their insulin doses

Numerous complications have already been linked to diabetes, with one example being diabetic ketoacidosis. This occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.

This complication begins when the body is unable to create sufficient amounts of insulin, which plays an important role in helping sugar or glucose enter your cells. The body breaks down fat as fuel when there isn't enough insulin, causing blood sugar levels to increase since insulin is unavailable to transport glucose.

If left untreated, this leads to a build-up of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis.1,2

Diabetic ketoacidosis can also result in increased urination and dehydration due to larger amounts of glucose, because the kidneys aren’t able to retain the extra glucose once blood sugar levels rise. Usually, around 10 percent of total body fluids are lost once you slip into ketoacidosis. Loss of potassium and other salts during the periods of excessive urination is also common.3

What Causes Diabetic Ketoacidosis in the First Place?

There are numerous causes and triggers for diabetic ketoacidosis, namely:4

Illnesses or infections that cause production of higher levels of certain hormones which counteract insulin's effects

Problems with insulin therapy (missed insulin treatments or inadequate insulin therapy)

Physical or emotional trauma

Heart attack

Alcohol or drug abuse, particularly cocaine

Medicines like corticosteroids and some diuretics

Who Can Get Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis tends to be highest among people who have Type 1 diabetes and/or frequently miss their insulin doses. This complication can develop at any age, although it's most common in people before 25 years old, or when Type 1 diabetes typically begins. Men and women are equally affected by diabetic ketoacidosis.5,6

Diabetic ketoacidosis may also develop in Type 2 diabetes patients, but this is uncommon. In some cases, diabetic ketoacidosis can be the first indicator that a person has diabetes.

How Can Diabetic Ketoacidosis Be Checked?

Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed through a physical exam, blood tests or a combination of both. Blood tests will typically measure blood sugar levels, blood acidity and ketone levels. Other examinations that can help check for diabetic ketoacidosis include blood electrolyte tests, urinalysis, chest X-ray and/or an electrocardiogram (a recording of the electrical activity of the heart).7

These Pages Will Provide More Information About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

To know more about diabetic ketoacidosis, continue reading these next pages. These will help you learn about the symptoms and ideal treatment protocols that can be beneficial for people who are dealing with this condition.

< Previous

Diabetes During Pregnancy

Next >

What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Click Here and be the first to comment on this article
Post your comment