Knowing About Diabetic Ketoacidosis
The cause of diabetic ketoacidosis is when your body either does not make enough insulin or produces none at all and the body does have enough sugar to use as fuel. When this occurs, the fat in the body is used as a replacement which causes ketones to start to build up in the bloodstream and therefore in the body. The type of diabetes that you have will play a role in the danger and cause of ketoacidosis.
For those who are type 1 diabetic, the body does not produce enough insulin to get energy from breaking down the sugar in the blood and therefore it substitutes fat in its place. Ketones, which are acids, start to collect in the urine and the blood each time the fat in the body is broken down. This can become poison in the body and cause great harm. It is possible for someone to be diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis before they are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as it is one of the initial symptoms. Of course it can also occur in someone already receiving treatment if they do not manage their health.
In patients who are type 2 diabetic the diagnosis of ketoacidosis is a very rare occurrence. If they are diagnosed with the condition it is generally due to illness. However, patients that are African- American or Hispanic are at a higher risk even with the diagnosis of type 2.
Some of the most noticeable signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis are flushed face, stomach pain, vomiting or nausea and dry mouth and skin. Other symptoms to look out for are a decrease in appetite, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath generally, trouble breathing in a lying down position and even the senses becoming dull. Although many of these signs and symptoms are associated with diabetes, for someone who has already been diagnosed it is vital to be checked for ketoacidosis.
There are several different types of tests that can be performed for the diagnosis which include a blood test, a blood gas test and a urine test. A patient may be tested if their blood sugar reaches a high level, if they are vomiting and or feel nauseous, if they are pregnant or if they have an illness including but not limited to stroke or heart attack. It is also possible that diabetic ketoacidosis can affect the outcome of other blood tests such as those for urine pH or phosphorus.
Following diagnosis, a treatment plan is put into place in order to get things back under control. There is always the possibility that the signs may be caught in time and the patient will be able to treat themselves at home. However most of the time they will need to be hospitalized in order to bring their insulin levels back under control, treat any dehydration and detect and resolve any infection or illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis can result in death if not treated quickly. It can also bring on kidney problems and even a heart attack. Learning the symptoms and prevention can go a long way to good health.
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