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Term & Conditions
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication of diabetes mellitus that occurs due to insulin deficiency resulting in increased blood levels of sugar and keto acids, causing the acute symptoms of vomiting, gasping breathing, increased urination, confusion, etc. It is a life-threatening emergency that occurs more commonly in people with type 1 diabetes, but people with type 2 diabetes mellitus can also be affected, often if they have not been diagnosed before.
Your body depends on glucose for energy to perform various processes. Insulin is the transporter that picks up sugar from the blood and transports it to the cells of the body to be used as fuel. In some situations like infections, trauma, pregnancy, etc., the body needs extra energy to deal with the stress using glucose (sugar), which is not transported well into the cells in the absence of insulin. Instead, it (sugar) remains in the blood and needs to be excreted in the urine, often taking all the available water of the body, causing dehydration. The liver gets the signals to make more glucose from the body’s stores, further increasing the blood sugar levels in the blood. The metabolic factory of our body cells switches to obtaining energy from the breakdown of fats, resulting in the production of keto acids as a by-product putting the body in the acidosis state. The natural buffers of the body try to get rid of excess acid by exhaling carbon dioxide (which is an acid), resulting in hyperventilation (increased breathing frequency). The vicious cycle continues if not treated at once.
Treatment is directed towards the provision of insulin, correction of hydration status with fluids, replenishing electrolytes, correction of acid-base balance, and correcting the underlying cause.