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What are Ketoacidosis Symptoms?

Ketoacidosis is a medical condition that results when there are too many ketones in the blood. When there is not enough insulin in the blood to use glucose for energy, the body resorts to breaking down fats for energy instead. Blood acids, known as ketones, are formed by this process. A heavy accumulation of ketones in the blood can be a life-threatening condition. As this is a very serious health condition, it is important to be aware of ketoacidosis symptoms.

Generally, ketoacidosis is one of the most severe complications of diabetes. For this reason, it is often referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis. It is typically seen more often in individuals with type 1 diabetes. There are some situations that may trigger a case of ketoacidosis. Skipping meals, a recent illness and not receiving enough insulin are examples of some frequent triggers.

It is essential to learn what early ketoacidosis symptoms might be. Early on, an individual may experience excessive thirst. Even upon drinking, the mouth may still remain somewhat dry. He or she may also have fruity-scented breath. Other early symptoms may include frequent urination, a loss of appetite and fatigue.

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Sometimes, ketoacidosis symptoms will develop suddenly. As the condition progresses, the symptoms may become stronger. A person with ketoacidosis may experience nausea, vomiting, a headache and muscle aches. These symptoms will typically be warning signs that there is a serious problem going on. As symptoms become more intense, an individual may have abdominal pain, flushed skin and a change in vision.

Recognizing these early ketoacidosis symptoms can save a life. As ketones continue to accumulate in the blood, a person's physical shape may further deteriorate. Typically, this will also mean the onset of more troublesome symptoms. Shortness of breath, rapid breathing and confusion can be later symptoms of this condition. If prompt medical attention is not provided, the individual may lose consciousness.

When caring for a person with ketoacidosis symptoms, the objective is to get medical help for him or her before the individual loses consciousness. More importantly, prompt medical attention is vital to avoid the most serious ketoacidosis symptoms. Without adequate medical care, a person with this condition could slip into a coma or lose his or her life. Even if the individual is spared from these severe complications, brain swelling is another possible dangerous symptom.

The treatment for ketoacidosis symptoms can vary. As this can be a life-threatening condition, most treatments are administered urgently. Generally, a patient will receive treatments involving insulin and intravenous fluids. A ketone test may be done to diagnose ketoacidosis. The test may analyze the blood, urine or both for the presence of ketones and help doctors treat the condition before it becomes very serious.

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Discuss this Article

anon121274
Post 1

I had one incident of DKA following my stepmom's funeral mass last weekend. I was out of town and drove home after giving myself 15 units of insulin. Within 18 hours, the glucose was back down below 130.

I didn't know what else to do as my emotions were out of control, my eating pattern for the day was screwed up as well as taking my oral meds. Did I do permanent damage or am I okay because it came back down with insulin?

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