Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition in people with the diabetes where chemicals called “ketones” accumulate in the blood which can be toxic to the body. This is a warning sign that a blood sugar is not controlled well.

How does DKA happen?

The body normally breaks down sugar for energy. But when the body is unable to break down the sugar due to lack of insulin, your body starts burning the fat cells which produce ketones. Both type I and type II diabetics are at risk for DKA.

What are the reasons for DKA?

Symptoms of DKA

What do I do if I think I have DKA?

You can test for ketones at home with urine test strips at home. Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the above symptoms or if your blood sugars are consistently high (generally above 240mg/dL).

How is DKA treated?

Intravenous insulin should be given immediately. When you have DKA, you will have a deficiency of electrolytes including sodium and potassium that need to be replaced adequately, to prevent other serious complications

How to prevent DKA?

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