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Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis: Introduction

Diabetic ketoacidosis, also called DKA, is a serious complication of diabetes. If not recognized and treated emergently, it can result in diabetic coma and death.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is most often a complication of type 1 diabetes, but in rare cases, it can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes. Another form of ketoacidosis is alcoholic ketoacidosis.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, an endocrine gland in the abdomen, does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or it stops making it altogether. Insulin is vital to the process of moving glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the body's cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin also is needed to help the liver to store excess glucose. Without sufficient insulin, the body is unable to process and use glucose to produce the energy that the body needs.

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas generally still produces insulin, but the body is unable to process and use glucose properly. Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes result in an abnormally high level of glucose in the blood, called hyperglycemia. At the same time, the body's cells are starving for energy because they are unable to use the glucose for energy.

As a result, the body burns fat for the cells to use for energy. This process results in the production of harmful acids called ketones. High levels of ketones can poison the body, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis. High levels of glucose in the blood also pull fluid away from the cells, resulting in severe dehydration.

Diabetic ketoacidosis can result from a variety of conditions occur, usually in people with type 1 diabetes. These conditions include not using enough insulin, not eating enough food, or having an insulin reaction.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis include excessive thirst, frequent urination, ketones in the urine and hyperglycemia, among other symptoms. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment and can lead to fatal complications. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is often diagnosed in the emergency room setting. Making a diagnosis includes performing an evaluation that includes a medical history, including symptoms and recent history of glucose levels and having ketones in the urine, and a physical examination.

In diabetic ketoacidosis high levels of ketones and glucose in the blood eventually spill from the bloodstream into the urine and can be detected through an urinanalysis test. Other diagnostic testing includes blood glucose test, which will detect hyperglycemia.

It is possible that a diagnosis of ketoacidosis can be delayed because early symptoms can be mild or vague, and the condition often develops slowly. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of ketoacidosis.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis are key to minimizing the progression of the condition into diabetic coma and death. Treatment is quickly begun in the emergency room and often continued in the intensive care setting. The goal of treatment is to normalize blood glucose levels and ensure good rehydration. For more details on treatment, refer to treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis....more »

Diabetic ketoacidosis: Misdiagnosis

Because the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis often develop slowly, it is possible that a diagnosis can be delayed. In addition, early symptoms may be mild and initially attributed other conditions. For example, a dry mouth and increased thirst could be assumed to be due to hot weather. Fatigue, weakness, and nausea and vomiting may be assumed to be related ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Diabetic ketoacidosis

Home medical tests possibly related to Diabetic ketoacidosis:

Diabetic ketoacidosis: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Diabetic ketoacidosis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Diabetic ketoacidosis Treatments

Treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis begins with prevention. Prevention measures for people with diabetes includes consistently following a diabetes treatment plan for medication, diet and exercise. It is also important to regularly monitor blood glucose levels and urine for ketones as directed by a physician or other licensed health care provider.

Prevention may also require more frequent ...Diabetic ketoacidosis Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Diabetic ketoacidosis may include:

Review further information on Diabetic ketoacidosis Treatments.

Stories from Users for Diabetic ketoacidosis

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Diabetic ketoacidosis: Animations

Diabetic ketoacidosis: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Diabetic ketoacidosis may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Causes of Similar Symptoms to Diabetic ketoacidosis

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Diabetic ketoacidosis:

Diabetic ketoacidosis: Deaths

Read more about causes and Diabetic ketoacidosis deaths.

In-Depth Reports: Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis

Diabetes diagnosis and misdiagnosis (In-Depth Report): Detailed report on diabetes misdiagnoses, rare curable types, and less common diagnostic full report »

Misdiagnosis and Diabetic ketoacidosis

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Diabetic ketoacidosis: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Diabetic ketoacidosis

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Diabetic ketoacidosis: Related Rare Diseases

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Diabetic ketoacidosis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis as a symptom include:

Definitions of Diabetic ketoacidosis:

Complication of diabetes resulting from severe insulin deficiency coupled with an absolute or relative increase in glucagon concentration; metabolic acidosis is caused by the breakdown of adipose stores and resulting increased levels of free fatty acids; glucagon accelerates the oxidation of the free fatty acids producing excess ketone bodies (ketosis).
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Detailed list of causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis

The list below shows some of the causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Diabetic ketoacidosis. Of the 34 causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 2 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 33 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Diabetic ketoacidosis:

The following list of conditions have 'Diabetic ketoacidosis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Diabetic ketoacidosis or choose View All.

Conditions listing medical complications: Diabetic ketoacidosis:

The following list of medical conditions have Diabetic ketoacidosis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.


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Causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Diabetic ketoacidosis based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    What are the alternative names for Diabetic ketoacidosis:

    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Diabetic ketoacidosis:

    Medical Conditions associated with Diabetic ketoacidosis:

    Acidosis (149 causes), Diabetes-like symptoms (212 causes), Pancreas symptoms (271 causes), Metabolic symptoms (391 causes), Blood symptoms (2297 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Upper abdominal symptoms (2707 causes), Diabetes-related symptoms (327 causes), Abnormal blood test symptoms (1538 causes)

    Symptoms related to Diabetic ketoacidosis:

    Diabetes (212 causes), Ketosis (17 causes), HHNS, Acidosis (149 causes), Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Starvation

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Diabetic ketoacidosis

    Medical research papers related to Diabetic ketoacidosis include:

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    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Diabetic Ketoacidosis:

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