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Diabetic ketoacidosis

  • Alternative Names

    DKA; Ketoacidosis


    The warning signs that you are becoming very sick might include:

    • Deep, rapid breathing
    • Dry skin and mouth
    • Flushed face
    • Fruity breath (breath odor)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Stomach pain

    Other symptoms that can occur include:

    • Fatigue
    • Frequent urination or thirst for a day or more
    • Mental stupor that may progress to coma
    • Muscle stiffness or aching
    • Shortness of breath
    • Abdominal pain
    • Breathing difficulty while lying down
    • Decreased appetite
    • Decreased consciousness
    • Headache

    Signs and tests

    Ketone testing may be used in type 1 diabetes to screen for early ketoacidosis. The ketones test is done using a urine sample. Ketone testing is usually done at the following times:

    • When the blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dL
    • During an illness such as pneumonia, heart attack, or stroke
    • When nausea or vomiting occur
    • During pregnancy

    Other tests that may be done to diagnose ketoacidosis include:

    • Arterial blood gas
    • Blood glucose test
    • Blood pressure measurement
    • Amylase blood test
    • Potassium blood test

    This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:

    • CO2
    • CSF collection
    • Potassium urine test
    • Magnesium blood test
    • Phosphorus blood test
    • Sodium blood test
    • Sodium urine test
    • Urine pH