Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a high-risk and life-threatening complication that diabetics are vulnerable to and can be treated. It is created by an insufficiency of insulin in the body. This medical condition is most likely to occur in patients with Type 1 Diabetes. You will learn more about how to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
What do you Need to Know about Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
The complication arises when there is an absolute shortage of the patient’s supply of insulin. Due to this shortage, the body reverts to burning the fatty acids in the body and produces acidic ketone bodies. This becomes a complication since it can lead to unconsciousness, and if not treated can be fatal. All the more reason to be extremely aware!
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body is unable to use blood sugar because there is not enough insulin. Your ketones can also go up when you miss a meal, especially breakfast. It can also occur when you are sick or stressed, or you have an insulin reaction.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis can happen to people with type 2 diabetes, but on a rare occasion. It is seen as the biggest medical emergency related to diabetes. It’s also severe morbidity in children with diabetes.
When there is not enough insulin in the body, the person is dehydrated and too many ketones are present in the bloodstream thereby, making it acidic.
The human body depends on glucose (sugar) that is controlled within the blood. This is an appropriate reference. Glucose is absolutely necessary when it comes to providing energy that the body requires to properly maintain itself. If the glucose levels become low in the body, the healthy cells will increase in on the fat that is stored in the body, and the same with the muscles. You do not want this happening.
Gradually, it will break these areas down in order to develop the energy that is required for essential human maintenance. As these components in the body continue to break down, the bloodstream becomes overloaded with ketones, small deposits of acid that are considered to be fatty, thereby making a natural imbalance of the substances and chemicals that are produced within the healthy human body, also known as metabolic acidosis.
Usually, diabetic ketoacidosis is due to undiagnosed diabetes, but may also apply to patients who have been diagnosed, but have failed to take the insulin as prescribed. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an important cause of mortality in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes if it is left unchecked. It is linked to a reduced glucose cycle and commences with a deficiency in insulin. So it’s always crucial to know what your insulin numbers are. Always stay on top of them.
When the case is severe, you may find it difficult in breathing, you may have a brain swell also known as cerebral edema and you will have the risk of coma. Loss of life due to diabetic ketoacidosis is clearly connected to the delay in the institution of the appropriate therapy in a hospital setting.
You don’t ever want to lose sight of what could happen if it gets too severe and this is where you will wind up.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms
There are common symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis and they develop very quickly. When ketones are at high levels, they usually build up in the blood and urine, causing the following symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis:
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Shortness of Breath
- Weakness or Fatigue
- Fruity Scented Breath
- Loss of Appetite
- Fruity-scented breath
- High blood glucose
- Abdominal pain; very common in children
- Decreased perspiration.
- Cool and dry skin.
- Deep and labored breathing
- Excessive thirst and urination.
- Stiff muscles with pain
In 25% of those suffering from Type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis is eventually developed through the deficiency of insulin and hyperglycemia. The factor that will determine whether each patient lives or dies depends on how quickly the disease is identified and treated.
As long as the disease is managed properly by a doctor, there is no reason for anyone with diabetic ketoacidosis to lose their life. It’s common sense that you must use in this situation. Make sure that your doctor is 100% involved here! He or she is the professional.
Causes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
DKA can often be activated by an illness or a problem with insulin treatment of a diabetic patient. They can also be triggered by other factors outside these common factors. An infection or another type of illness can cause your body to produce higher levels hormones of different types, such as adrenaline. Unfortunately, these hormones counter the effect of insulin, sometimes causing an episode of diabetic ketoacidosis. Common culprits are urinary and pneumonia.
Ketoacidosis causes to type 2 diabetic patients include; A serious illness, infection, injury, missing doses of insulin shots, or surgery can lead to DKA in people male or female, even though type 2 diabetes DKA can be less common and less severe. But it doesn’t mean that should just shrug it off. It’s still a vital issue that must be addressed. Please take this seriously?
If you think you are experiencing Diabetic Ketoacidosis, it is important to know the right time to call the doctor. The best thing is to alert your physician once your blood sugar reaches 350 mg and above. And if diabetic patients start vomiting and having a high fever, you should not hesitate to call your doctor. Never hesitate with the decision of getting your doctor involved. EVER!
Treatment for DKA often involves fluid replacement orally or through an IV, electrolyte replacement, and insulin treatment. There are other cases where the patient will need further treatment which is best to follow what the physician recommends. But as I mentioned before it should always be his or her call as to how to attend to it.
To treat DKA, you may have to go to the hospital and probably get insulin through an IV to bring your ketones down and fluids to get you hydrated and bring your blood chemistry back into balance. If you don’t treat ketoacidosis, you can pass out or to enter into a coma, and possibly die. The best advice is to NEVER wait!
You can also begin intravenous fluids previous to insulin therapy. It is necessary to check potassium levels before the the starting of insulin therapy or supplement potassium intravenously if need be. These are all the issues your doctor and staff will know and take care of.
In case blood glucose falls below 14 mmol/L (250 mg/dL), an addition of 10% glucose should be allowed for the continuation of fixed-rate insulin infusion.
When it is established that one is a patient with diabetes, SC long-acting insulin should commence at the dose that was used prior to the indication of DKA. This is another issue that the medical team has the expertise about, so not to worry.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can be corrected in about 24-48 hours with appropriate treatment like fluid replacement and insulin therapy. Most often the duration of therapy is about 48 hours depending on how server the case is.
There are a number of symptoms that may be associated with an individual experiencing ketoacidosis directly related to glucose levels in the body. According to research, many people are unable to experience symptoms until the glucose levels start displaying radical figures in the body.
Hence the need for anyone with diabetes to be aware of the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis. Here are some signs and symptoms that may be associated with this devastating condition:
- One of the first symptoms usually appears in the skin. The person may look pale, feel extremely hot and dry in the body. Some persons may notice dryness on their lip.
- Due to the imbalance of the body chemical, the vision may be affected. With this particular condition, the individual experience blurred vision that is very troublesome.
- There is a symptom that is related to the smell of the breath. It occurs when the glucose levels in the body are at hazardous levels.
- Extremely tiredness and weakness for no reason sets in. This may result in a lack of interest in basic activities that ordinarily you enjoy doing.
- Lack of interest in eating, which results in physical illness.
- The individual is often confused and disorganized.
Prevention of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
There’s much you can do to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis complications. Some of these methods have worked in the preventive measure of DKA.
- The first preventive step that you can take is to ensure that you carefully monitor your blood glucose levels.
- If you take insulin, it is important to stay on top of these treatments. Take is as needed.
- Check your ketone level.
The hospital may give you saline solution fluid and glucose to ensure proper hydration and balance the sugar level respectively. But it is important to understand that the process may not be quick but it is an effective process.
Prevention they say, is better than cure. Therefore, adhere strictly to your diabetes management, monitoring your blood sugar levels, checking your ketone level, and adjust your insulin dosage whenever needed. Remember the saying and stick to it: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
To improve on this prevention strategy of repercussions that are life-threatening of diabetic ketoacidosis, strong replacement of fluids with normal saline is the basis of therapy for diabetic ketoacidosis.
The replacement of the fluid was in existence before even the advent of insulin therapy. Another important aspect of rehydration treatment in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis is the replacement of ongoing urinary harms. We all know how important it is to stay hydrated.
If this life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis is properly and immediately treated, most people will recover completely from it. You need to begin treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis immediately once it is diagnosed. The reason is the condition can quickly deteriorate and the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis involves constant administering of insulin in low doses to bring down glucose levels.
Final Thoughts about Diabetic Ketoacidosis
I hope this article has helped you. This subject is very important to me and I hope that I’ve helped you with regards on how to treat diabetic ketoacidosis. It’s not something to take lightly for sure.
The most important thing you can do with your type 2 diabetes is to check it regularly and get it under control. Talk things over with your doctor and listen to and do what he or she says to do. Stay on top of things and you’ll do fine. Please take care of yourself and see your doctor regularly!