Ketoacidosis

Ketones are acids that build up in your blood supply and are a warning sign youre your diabetes is not under control. It shows up in urine when you are not getting the needed amount of insulin. Ketones poison your body and ketoacidosis is the result of too many ketones in your urine. Ketoacidosis is both dangerous and life threatening.

This complication rarely happens in people with Type 2 diabetes, but does pose a serious problem for those who have Type 1 diabetes. Patients with Type 2 diabetes are threatened with a similar condition called hyperosmolar nonketotic coma. This complication usually appears in elderly diabetes patients. Ketoacidosis can result in a diabetic coma or death. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it is important you know what warning signs to watch for. This complication normally develops slowly but if you are vomiting, it can develop faster. Here are some of the symptoms.

    • A dry mouth or extreme thirst
    • Urinating more than usual
    • High levels of ketones in the urine
    • High levels of blood glucose

Once these symptoms appear, they progress to other more serious symptoms. Those symptoms are:

    • Flushed and dry skin
    • Fruity odor of your breath
    • Confusion and inattention
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Feeling tired most of the time
    • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain

Nausea is caused by many illnesses, but if your vomiting continues for over two hours, its necessary to contact your doctor or go to the emergency room of you local hospital.

A test strip, much like a blood testing strip is used to test for ketones in the urine. Your doctor will be able to tell you how and when you should test for ketones. If you have a cold or the flu, you should check ketones every four to six hours and when your glucose level is above 240 mg/dl. Your doctor can tell you what levels of ketones is dangerous for you.

Reasons for large levels of ketones in your urine are:

    • Your body does not have enough insulin. Without the right levels of insulin, your body starts breaking down fat to use for energy. Maybe you didnt inject enough insulin or your body has used more than usual because of an illness.
    • High ketones can happen when you miss a meal or are not eating because you are sick.
    • Ketones appear when you are having an insulin reaction. Blood glucose levels drop and the body has to use fat for energy. If your urine shows high ketones in the morning, it may mean you are having an insulin reaction during the night.

This complication will usually need to be treated in the hospital. It is important to know the warning signs and continue to check your blood sugar levels and urine regularly.

Ketoacidosis is extremely dangerous! If you show any signs or symptoms of this complication, contact your doctor immediately! If your doctor is unavailable, go to your local hospitals emergency room. It could save your life.

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