What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a condition afflicting mainly type 1 diabetes patients who suffer from hyperglycemia as a result of lack of insulin. Inadequate insulin levels result in the failure of the body to utilize blood glucose as a fuel source; rather, to compensate the decreased energy levels, the body starts breaking down fat, resulting in ketones. Without insulin to control the amount of ketones produced during this process, an excessive amount is produced. The high concentration of ketones coupled with heightened blood glucose levels causes the blood to become significantly acidic.
As a result of high blood sugar levels and inadequate insulin, acidic ketones create chemical imbalance in the body and produce life-threatening symptoms and can even cause death.
Diabetic ketoacidosis in children might be the result of undiagnosed diabetic mellitus. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis in children are:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Excessive thirst
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flushed skin
- Fruity-scented breath, primarily because of ketones
In the case of adults, common diabetic ketoacidosis symptoms are:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Nausea, vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
Though type 1 diabetes patients are more vulnerable to developing diabetic ketoacidosis, in some cases, type 2 diabetes patients, too, can develop this condition due to prolonged illness.