Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis is also known as DKA, Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a buildup of acids in your blood. When your blood sugar is too high for too long then Diabetic Ketoacidosis conditions develop. Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a serious problems of diabetes and may be life-threatening.


Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The symptoms of  Diabetic ketoacidosis can appear quickly and may even be your first warning sign that you have diabetes. It includes:

  • Flushed face
  • Frequent peeing
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweet-smelling breath
  • Weakness
  • Belly pain
  • Confusion or less alertness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling very thirsty

Call your doctor if you have any of the symptoms below and your ketones are moderate to high when you test them using a home kit, or if you have more than one symptom such as:

  • If You feel queasy or your belly hurts.
  • If Your breath smells is fruity.
  • If You’re having a hard time breathing.
  • If You’re confused, tired,or woozy.
  • If You’ve been throwing up for more than 2 hours.

Causes and Risk Factors of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis usually happens when your body dose not have enough insulin. Your cells can not use the glucose in your blood for getting energy, so they use fat for fuel instead. Burning of fat makes acids called ketones. . If this process continues for a some time, then ketones start forming in the blood itself, due to which the chemical balance of the blood changes, and throw off your entire system.


People with Type 1 diabetes are at risk for ketoacidosis, because their bodies do not make any insulin. Your ketones can also go up when you are sick or stressed,have an insulin reaction,haven’t injected enough insulin and miss a meal.

Rarely Diabetic Ketoacidosis can happen to people with Type 2 diabetes. If you have Diabetes Type 2, you’re more likely to have a condition with some similar symptoms called HHNS (hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome). It can lead to severe dehydration.

Risk factors for Diabetic Ketoacidosis include:

  • Not taking your insulin as prescribed
  • Missing your insulin dose
  • Pregnancy
  • Recent stroke
  • Serious illness or any trauma
  • Stomach illness
  • Surgery
  • Using illegal drugs, such as cocaine
  • Blood clot in your lungs
  • Having type 1 diabetes
  • Heart disease, such as a heart attack
  • Infections
  • Medicines like steroids or antipsychotics



Diagnosis and Tests For Diabetic Ketoacidosis

When your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or you have any of the above symptoms of high blood sugar, such as feeling thirsty, peeing a lot or dry mouth,Then you should go for ketones test.

You should check your blood glucose level with a urine test strip. Some glucometers measure ketones, too. You should try to bring your blood sugar down, and check your ketones again in 30 minutes. Besides it doctor can give you a physical exam and can ask about your symptoms, and discuss medical history then doctor can order these tests to diagnose Diabetic ketoacidosis.

Arterial blood gas

Blood pressure

Chest X-ray


Tests for signs of infection


Bloodwork, including electrolytes and metabolic panel


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