Encyclopedia > Diabetic ketoacidosis

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Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is severe, out-of-control diabetes (high blood sugar) that needs emergency treatment. DKA happens when blood sugar[?] levels get too high. This may happen because of illness, taking too little insulin, or getting too little exercise. The body starts using stored fat for energy, and ketone bodies (acids) build up in the blood.

Ketoacidosis starts slowly and builds up. The signs include nausea and vomiting, which can lead to loss of water from the body, stomach pain, and deep and rapid breathing. Other signs are a flushed face, dry skin and mouth, a fruity breath odor, a rapid and weak pulse, and low blood pressure. If the person is not given fluids and insulin right away, ketoacidosis can lead to coma and even death.

See also:

Original version from the public domain NIH Diabetes dictionary.



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