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The Lowdown On Diabetic Ketoacidosis

February 18, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Diabetes

People are mostly unaware of a potentially life-taking condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘diabetic’ in the name! Though diabetics are prime targets of this condition, so also are they who have undergone severe dehydration for whatever reason, as well as those who have had massive viral or bacterial infections. These three categories form the high-risk population vulnerable to diabetic ketoacidosis.

This condition is related to the metabolic functions of the body. Food is digested to produce glucose, a form of sugar. Glucose is used by the muscles directly to carry out our basic functions. Glucose which is not needed immediately is converted to and stored as fat. Whenever the glucose levels dwindle, the body takes recourse to the stored energy reserves within our body, that is, the fats, reconverting them back to glucose, that is energy.

Fats are pretty complex substances, and when they are decomposed to get their glucose content, a very simple fatty acid, called ketone, is also released into the blood. This causes ketoacidosis. This isn’t a problem for the body in small, occasional doses. However, when it is massive and prolonged, the blood chemistry changes drastically. If left untreated for too long, or if treatment is left till too late, the condition can result in fatality. To reiterate, the high-risk population is especially vulnerable to diabetic ketoacidosis, but the others are just a little less likely to develop diabetic ketoacidosis. So everyone should beware this condition!

Diabetic ketoacidosis becomes dangerous due to delayed treatment. Most people who have diabetic ketoacidosis aren’t even aware that they have it. The symptoms manifest themselves in the later stages of the condition. Recognizing them may well mean the difference between a life-critical existence and a normal one. The chief symptoms that are easily discernible are given here for your information.

Skin dryness, elevated temperature, flushed or pale appearance.

Blurred vision.

The breath can acquire a peculiar odor best described as sickly “sweet smelling”.

Diabetic ketoacidosis induces lassitude in the extreme. The patient just can’t get enough sleep and loses all interest in any form of activity, even the ones he used to enjoy most.

A person with diabetic ketoacidosis can’t eat. He doesn’t feel like eating at all. If he does attempt a light meal, he brings it up almost immediately, with violent retching.

The most critical manifestation of diabetic ketoacidosis is related to the thought processing capability of the brain. The person goes through spells where he is completely confused.

Careful monitoring of the blood glucose is the only effective way to control diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetics who require insulin shots should be extremely regular in taking them. Dehydration must be countered by taking rehydration salts. Supplementary glucose should be taken if the glucose level drops sharply below the minimum level. Everything must be done under proper medical supervision, that goes without saying for such a serious, and possibly fatal, condition! The treatment is not an overnight cure, but it is the only effective one. Take care!

There are a couple of things everyone should have to assist in controlling their diabetes. The first is a good inventory of diabetic testing supplies and the other is a wholesome diabetic diet plan. Go to to learn more about this disease and ways to control it.

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