Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Friday, January 23, 2009

Ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma or even death. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes that occurs when sugar is not available as a fuel source by the body and fat is used instead. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the condition and some of its symptoms in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when you have high blood sugar levels and a build-up of acids called ketones. If it isnít treated, it can lead to coma and even death.

The main cause of diabetic ketoacidosis is not enough insulin. This causes your bodyís glucose levels to rise, but stops the body from using the glucose for energy. To get energy, the body starts to burn fat. This causes ketones to build up. Ketones can poison the body. High blood glucose levels can also cause you to urinate often, which leads to dehydration.

Your blood sugar may be quite high before you notice symptoms, which include:

∑ Flushed, hot, dry skin

∑ Blurred vision

∑ Drowsiness or difficulty waking up

∑ Rapid, deep breathing

∑ A strong, fruity breath odor

∑ Loss of appetite, abdominal pain and vomiting, and

∑ Confusion

In severe cases, you may have difficulty breathing, your brain may swell and there is a risk of coma and even death.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.