Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes. This condition arises when the body's insulin production falls short. Insulin is pivotal in facilitating the entry of sugar, a primary energy source for muscles and bodily tissues, into cells.
When insulin is insufficient, the body turns to break down fat for energy, resulting in the accumulation of acidic compounds known as ketones in the bloodstream. Ignoring this buildup can escalate into diabetic ketoacidosis.
It's crucial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk to acquaint themselves with the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis and to comprehend when urgent medical attention is warranted.
Manifestations of this condition often emerge rapidly, occasionally within a day. In some cases, these symptoms might serve as initial indicators of diabetes. They include:
• Profuse thirst
• Frequent urination
• Nausea and vomiting
• Abdominal pain
• Weakness or fatigue
• Shortness of breath
• Breath carrying a fruity scent
More definitive signs of diabetic ketoacidosis, detectable through home blood and urine test kits, include:
• Elevated blood sugar levels
• Increased ketone levels in urine
Recognizing when to seek advice from a healthcare professional is critical. If you're feeling unwell, stressed, or have recently undergone illness or injury, vigilant monitoring of your blood sugar level is recommended. Additionally, utilizing a urine ketone test kit available at pharmacies can be beneficial.
It's essential to promptly reach out to your healthcare provider if:
• You're experiencing vomiting and unable to retain food or liquids
• Your blood sugar level surpasses your target range and remains unresponsive to home interventions
• Your urine shows moderate or high ketone levels
In situations requiring immediate attention:
• Blood sugar levels exceeding 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 16.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), across multiple tests
• Presence of ketones in urine, with no access to healthcare provider guidance
• Display of multiple symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, including intense thirst, frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness or fatigue, difficulty breathing, breath with a fruity odor, and confusion
Keep in mind untreated diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal.