Did you know diabetes and its complications are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, globally? As per one study conducted in India, up to 30% of diabetic ketoacidosis cases resulted in death while being hospitalized.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious metabolic complication of diabetes mellitus. This is usually an acute and life-threatening condition that could develop in hours and if untreated, could lead to diabetic coma or death. Diabetic ketoacidosis is characterized by excessive breakage of fats into ketones (metabolic product of fats). Ketones are acidic, and their excessive buildup causes the blood to become more acidic, leading to ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is usually the result of poor signaling of insulin that leads to:
Diabetic ketoacidosis is more common and severe in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Sometimes, diabetic ketoacidosis can present as the first sign of type 1 diabetes mellitus. In people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, diabetic ketoacidosis is triggered by uncontrolled blood glucose levels for a prolonged duration. Diabetic ketoacidosis by occurrence is less common and less severe in type 2 diabetics.
Common symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:
You should immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms or warning signs. You will need to go to the hospital to get treated for diabetic ketoacidosis. Any delay in immediate medical care can lead to diabetic coma or even death.
The majority of the people usually respond within 24 hours of the treatment therapy. Once the biochemical functions start returning to normal, your doctor might look for possible causes of diabetic ketoacidosis and initiate additional treatment strategies.
The treatment approach for diabetic ketoacidosis is symptomatic and based on the correction of the imbalances. Your doctor will give you emergency treatment such as:
Prevention is better than cure; you should follow the advice given by your healthcare professional. You can prevent diabetic ketoacidosis in the future by the following lifestyle behaviors:
Keeping your blood glucose levels in control will help you avoid diabetic ketoacidosis. You should adopt lifestyle modifications such as eating right, exercising regularly, proper medication and becoming aware.
Treatment for diabetic Ketoacidosis involves three main lines:
Initial treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis aims to correct electrolyte imbalance and provide insulin therapy for quicker resolution and prevention of complications. Fluid replacement is also an integral part of initial treatment.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is curable but with a clause. If diagnosed early, diabetic ketoacidosis is treatable using standard medical care along with a possible requirement for additional therapies. However, the clause is that you need to follow the doctor’s advice and also adhere to certain lifestyle behaviors to avoid the occurrence of diabetic ketoacidosis in the future. Becoming aware and understanding the risk associated with diabetic ketoacidosis is also crucial.
Early ketoacidosis treatment is based on symptoms and could involve IV infusion of fluids, electrolytes, and insulin therapy to reduce ketone bodies from blood. Your doctor might also advise you to follow a strict diet plan and exercise regime to regulate blood sugar levels based on the severity of the ketoacidosis.