Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially serious complication of diabetes that should be managed quickly to avoid further complications and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. DKA occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to use blood sugar for its energy needs and so it turns to fat for energy instead. As a result, the body produces high levels of ketones – chemical compounds – that makes the blood acidic, which can lead to dehydration, coma, and even death.

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What Are The Causes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

The main cause of diabetic ketoacidosis is not enough insulin in the body to turn glucose into energy. This can occur when people with type 1 diabetes don’t take their insulin or when people with type 2 diabetes do not have diabetes well-controlled and their insulin levels are too low. Other potential causes of DKA include infections, heart attacks, stroke, and certain medications.

What Are The Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)?

The most common symptoms of DKA are nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Other symptoms may include confusion, increased heart rate and breathing, fruity-smelling breath, and detailed physical examination will reveal clues about dehydration such as dry skin or sunken eyes.

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Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

The goal of treating DKA is to restore the balance of fluids, electrolytes, and glucose in the body. Treatment starts with administering insulin, either by injection or intravenously, which helps the body properly process glucose and return to normal range. In addition, patients may need to be given fluids intravenously to help replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. Additionally, if a infection is present, antibiotics may also be given.

Tips For Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Prevention

The best way to prevent DKA is to ensure that your blood sugar levels are well-controlled. People with type 1 diabetes need to take their insulin regularly, as prescribed. Additionally, eat a healthy, balanced diet, appropriately monitored for carbohydrates and sugars to help keep blood sugar levels stable, and exercise regularly.

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Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially serious complication of diabetes, but with proper management and prevention techniques, it can be avoided. People with type 1 diabetes must adhere to their insulin regimens, and people with type 2 diabetes should ensure that their blood sugar levels are well-controlled. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly are also important to preventing the condition. If any symptoms of DKA develop, seek medical attention right away.

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