What is Ketoacidosis(DKA)?


Diabetic Ketoacidosis – A High Yield Review for Medical Students

Ketoacidosis is a condition in which the body breaks down fat for energy rather than using sugar. When you are ill or stressed your blood sugar levels rise.

A person with Type 1 diabetes does not have an insulin supply to deal with this elevation and begins to break down fats for fuel.

When fat is burned for fuel, chemicals called ketones are released. Ketones are poisonous to the body. The kidneys usually remove ketones via the urine.

However, if the blood sugar levels remain too high for a period of time the kidneys are unable to remove the ketone build up and they begin to accumulate in the body. This can become a life-threatening situation, resulting in a diabetic coma or death.

Ketoacidosis is more common in individuals with Type 1 diabetes because of their inability to produce insulin.

Individuals with Type 2 diabetes are less likely to develop ketoacidosis because they do produce some insulin, even though it may not work as well as it should.

High blood sugar levels and ketoacidosis may develop as a result of an illness or omission of insulin.

What are the symptoms of ketoacidosis?

Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis (Pediatrics-Laboratory and Clinical Research)

The signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis are:

1.Feeling unwell with a high temperature, sore throat and flu-like symptoms

2. Lethargy, weakness

3.Increased drowsiness

4. Abdominal pain

5. Chest pain



8. Fruity odor to breath

9.Dry cracked lips

10.Rapid breathing

11.Raised blood glucose levels

12.Presence of moderate to large ketones in the urine

How do you test for ketones?


On Call GK Dual Function Meter for Blood Ketone and Glucose Monitoring Meter

Frequently, glucometers are programmed to warn patients to “test ketones” when their blood sugar levels register a high result.

Some meters also have the ability to test the blood for ketones using a specific ketone-testing strip.

Most individuals test their ketones by dipping a ketone test strip into their urine. Urine strips may be purchased from the pharmacy without a prescription.

This will allow you to monitor the ketone level in your urine.

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