All those who have type 1 diabetes should know about a serious complication which can happen in type 1 diabetes, called DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).
In this condition blood glucose levels shoots up, out of proportion, along with various other physical signs and symptoms. If not treated in time it can lead to loss of life. Hence knowing about DKA is wise and can be protective.
What are the causes?
Generally DKA happens when type 1 diabetic’s body goes through an insult like infection, surgery, heart attack, stroke, pregnancy, cocaine abuse, forgetting regular insulin doses frequently etc.
During illnesses like in case of infection, appetite goes down and therefore the affected individual decreases the dose of insulin he use to take regularly. Due to lack of proper insulin doses the fat in the body break down and make ketone bodies. The latter produces acidic environment in the body, hence it’s termed ketoacidosis (acidosis due to ketone bodies).
How does DKA presents?
It presents with wide range of symptoms, but some of the commons are- pain in abdomen, fast breathing, fruity smell from the mouth (due to ketone bodies), nausea (i.e. vomiting like sensation), vomiting, increased thirst, polyuria (passing large volume of urine) etc.
How to treat DKA?
DKA is a medical emergency. It needs proper medical attention at a well equipped health care center under trained medical staff.
Since DKA patients suffer from huge fluid loss, fluids through venous route is given. Besides fluids, insulin and potassium are also supplemented as required. Regular monitoring of various parameters are done, like blood sugar, body’s acidic situation, blood pressure etc. If treatment is instituted in time by expert DKA management team, the results can be good.
What can a type 1 diabetes patient do to avoid DKA?
Taking regular insulin doses as instructed by their treating doctor.
Consult the doctor in case of any illness even if it is a mild flu.
Keep telephone numbers of emergency services handy.
Ask your doctor, if any particular instruction they would like to give you in regard to your health.
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