How is diabetic ketoacidosis diagnosed?
Blood and urine tests to measure levels of ketones and blood glucose are used to diagnose diabetic ketoacidosis.
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Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition caused by a build-up of waste products called ketones in the blood. It occurs in people with diabetes when they have little or no insulin.
Symptoms of diabetes ketoacidosis include increased thirst and urination, abdominal pains, vomiting, shortness of breath and rapid breathing, a fruity smell to the breath and drowsiness and confusion.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs because of a lack of insulin, which leads to the body burning its fat stores to provide energy for cells. This produces ketones, acidic substances that are toxic at high levels.
Diabetic ketoacidosis most commonly occurs in people with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes and in pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
Treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis should occur in a hospital. It involves replacing fluids lost through dehydration and making sure that electrolyte levels, particularly potassium, are maintained at safe levels. Insulin may be given to help reduce …
With prompt treatment, most people recover from diabetic ketoacidosis. However, it is important to properly manage diabetes to reduce the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis from recurring.
Diabetic ketoacidosis will not clear on its own and requires treatment as soon as possible. Untreated, it can cause organ failure, shock, coma and ultimately death.
While diabetic ketoacidosis cannot be completely prevented, you can reduce your risk by managing diabetes well, including taking insulin and medications as prescribed, and regularly monitoring blood glucose levels as recommended by your doctor.