Body producing high levels of ketones (blood acids) causes a serious diabetic complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Body not producing enough insulin also contributes to the development of this diabetic emergency. Insulin helps glucose in entering cells.
As untreated diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal, it is important to be aware of warning signs of this diabetic emergency and at the same time, you should be able to communicate specific information related to the disease that can help during the treatment.
- 1 Symptoms
- 1.1 Causes
- 1.2 Diabetic Ketoacidosis Prevention
A person with diabetes should always wear an N-Style ID’s medical alert necklace or bracelet as the signs and symptoms are often developed within 24 hours. There is a special medical alert necklace for seniors.
Following are the early signs you can notice :
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue or weakness
- Fruity-scented breath
You can use blood and urine testing kits for more specific signs of diabetic ketoacidosis including:
- High urine ketone levels
- High blood sugar levels
When To See a Doctor
Check blood sugar level more often if you are recently injured or have any illness, book an appointment with a doctor if:
- You cannot tolerate liquid or food.
- You are vomiting.
- You have higher blood sugar levels.
- Home treatment is not working.
- You have a moderate or high urine ketone level.
Seeking Emergency Care
You must wear your medical alert necklace to seek the right emergency care. This ID tag provides not only valuable information but also saves valuable time. You need emergency care when:
- The blood sugar level is higher than 300mg/dl.
- The ketone levels in urine are high.
- You have frequent urination, excessive thirst, and other multiple diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms.
Never forget that when diabetic ketoacidosis is left untreated, this can be fatal.
In the absence of insulin, your body cannot use sugar properly. Your body releases hormones to break down fat. This leads to the production of blood acids known as ketones. The following can trigger diabetic ketoacidosis:
- Some illnesses or infections can increase the production of cortisol, adrenaline and certain other hormones. These hormones can trigger diabetic ketoacidosis episodes.
- Sometimes, this happens due to some problems with insulin therapy. The therapist is often unaware of your other medical condition that can affect the treatment. So, wear your medical alert necklace. Sometimes, insulin therapy is inadequate or you miss your insulin treatments. Too little insulin can trigger diabetic ketoacidosis.
Other diabetic ketoacidosis triggers include:
- Heart attack
- Emotional or physical trauma
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Corticosteroids, some diuretics, and certain other medications
The risk is the highest when:
- You have type 1 diabetes
- You have missed insulin doses
- Type 2 diabetes can also trigger diabetic ketoacidosis.
Complications of Treatments
Following are the common treatment complications:
- Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
- Hypokalemia (Low Potassium)
- Cerebral Edema (Swelling in the brain)
Risks can be much greater when the condition is left untreated. This can cause loss of consciousness and this is where your medical alert necklace can be life-saving. Otherwise, this can be fatal.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Prevention
There are many ways you can prevent diabetic ketoacidosis:
- Manage Your diabetes
- Have a healthy diet. Be physically active. Take medications as directed by the doctor.
- Monitor Blood Sugar Level
- Check your blood sugar levels at least thrice a day. Test more often if you have some illness.
- Adjust Insulin Dosage
- Call your doctor if you experience symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis and get your insulin adjusted.
- Check Ketone Level
- Check ketones levels if you are under stress or you are ill. See your doctor for emergency care.
- Prepare To Act
Test your blood sugar levels and urine ketone levels on a regular basis so that you can seek emergency treatment. Due to loss of consciousness, sometimes, you may not be able to act. You need N-Style ID’s medical alert necklace.