Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a medical emergency that can occur in people with diabetes. It occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is deficiency of insulin. Fat is used for fuel instead. Byproducts of fat breakdown, called ketones, build up in the body. Ketone bodies are acidic in nature and their accumulation shifts the pH of blood towards acidic range.
By definition, DKA is characterized by the triad of
DKA results from the combination of absolute or relative insulin deficiency and an increase in counter - regulatory hormones (glucagon, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone). Most patients with DKA have type 1 diabetes; however, patients with type 2 diabetes are also at risk during the stress of acute illness such as trauma, surgery, or infections.
Usually occurs in the setting of uncontrolled blood glucose (the person might complain of history of polyuria, polydipsia and weight loss in the preceding days).
The goal of treatment is to correct the high blood sugar level with insulin. Another goal is to replace fluids lost through urination and vomiting.
Someone with diabetes may be able to spot the early warning signs and make changes at home before the condition gets worse. It is important to stay in close touch with the doctor.
Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue