Diabetic ketoacidosis DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes and, much less commonly, of type 2 diabetes. DKA happens when your blood sugar is very high and acidic substances called ketones build up to dangerous levels in your body. Ketosis can occur as a result of an extremely low carbohydrate diet, known as a ketogenic diet , or fasting. DKA is a medical emergency.

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Worried about the coronavirus? Here's what you should know. Read more. When your cells don't get the glucose they need for energy, your body begins to burn fat for energy, which produces ketones. When ketones build up in the blood, they make it more acidic. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick.

High levels of ketones can poison the body. When levels get too high, you can develop DKA. DKA may happen to anyone with diabetes, though it is rare in people with type 2. Treatment for DKA usually takes place in the hospital. DKA usually develops slowly. But when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours. Early symptoms include the following:. Ketoacidosis DKA is dangerous and serious.

You can detect ketones with a simple urine test using a test strip, similar to a blood testing strip. Ask your health care provider when and how you should test for ketones. When you are ill when you have a cold or the flu, for example , check for ketones every 4 to 6 hours.

If your health care provider has not told you what levels of ketones are dangerous, then call when you find moderate amounts after more than one test. Often, your health care provider can tell you what to do over the phone. High levels of ketones and high blood glucose levels can mean your diabetes is out of control. Check with your health care provider about how to handle this situation.

Donate now. Back to Diabetes Overview. What are the warning signs of DKA? If vomiting continues for more than 2 hours, contact your health care provider.

Difficulty breathing Fruity odor on breath A hard time paying attention, or confusion Ketoacidosis DKA is dangerous and serious.

How do I check for ketones? Also, check for ketones when you have any symptoms of DKA. What if I find higher-than-normal levels of ketones? Call your health care provider at once if you experience the following conditions: Your urine tests show high levels of ketones.

Your urine tests show high levels of ketones and you have vomited more than twice in four hours. What causes DKA? Here are three basic reasons for moderate or large amounts of ketones: Not enough insulin Maybe you did not inject enough insulin. Or your body could need more insulin than usual because of illness. High levels may also occur when you miss a meal. Related pages.

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What You Should Know About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

NCBI Bookshelf. Endotext [Internet]. Adair R Gosmanov , M. Diabetic ketoacidosis DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state HHS are acute metabolic complications of diabetes mellitus that can occur in patients with both type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus.


DKA (Ketoacidosis) & Ketones

NCBI Bookshelf. Pranita Ghimire ; Amit S. Authors Pranita Ghimire 1 ; Amit S. Dhamoon 2. During catabolic states, fatty acids are metabolized to ketone bodies, which can be readily utilized for fuel by individual cells in the body. Of the three major ketone bodies, acetoacetic acid is the only true ketoacid chemically, while beta-hydroxybutyric acid is a hydroxy acid, and acetone is a true ketone. Figure 1 shows the schematic of ketogenesis where the fatty acids generated after lipolysis in the adipose tissues enter the hepatocytes via the bloodstream and undergo beta-oxidation to form the various ketone bodies.



Diabetic ketoacidosis DKA is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. DKA happens most often in those with type 1 diabetes but can also occur in those with other types of diabetes under certain circumstances. The primary treatment of DKA is with intravenous fluids and insulin. Rates of DKA vary around the world.

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