Diabetes Basics

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - A Life Threatening Disease

Diabetic Ketoacidosis, DKA
DKA is a degenerative condition which is caused on account of a steep decrease in the insulin level and increased levels of stress hormones. DKA generally occurs in patients suffering from Diabetes type 1. It disorder may be manifested in patients who have Diabetes type 2. It can occur if a patient has failed to take insulin shots in time and as prescribed by the doctor.

Fatal for type one diabetes
DKA is characterized by hyperglycemia, acidosis and high levels of ketone bodies. It reduces the pH of the blood. A pH level below 6.7 causes death. Patients of this syndrome or complication are advised to immediately seek medical advice and guidance.

Severe Symptoms
In severe cases, it may cause breathing problems, brain swelling, coma and eventually to death. It may too cause altered vision.

DKA consequences
Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a severe life threatening complication which involves immediate attention and cure. The disease makes diabetic patients vulnerable.

Treatment consists of hydration to lower the osmolality of the blood, replacement of lost electrolytes, insulin to force glucose and potassium into the cells, and eventually glucose simultaneously with insulin in order to correct other metabolic abnormalities, such as lowered blood potassium and elevated ketone levels. Many patients require admission to a step-down unit or an ICU so that vital signs, urine output, and blood tests can be monitored frequently. Brain edema is not rare, and so this may also require intensive monitoring. In patients with severe alteration of mental status, intubation and mechanical ventilation may be required. Survival is dependent on how badly the patient’s metabolism has been affected when the patient is hospitalized. The condition is dangerous but if treated in time the patient makes a full recovery.