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What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication of diabetes, which occurs as a result of abnormally high levels of ketones in the blood that make it acidic. It can lead to coma or death if left untreated. It is more common in type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes rarely suffer from DKA. There is limited information on the incidence of DKA in India

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Warning signs and symptoms of DKA include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent desire to pass urine (Read more: Frequent urination causes)
  • High blood sugar levels
  • High levels of ketone in the urine

Other symptoms that may appear include:

What are its main causes?

Lack of insulin in diabetes triggers the body to use fat as a source of energy. As fat is broken down, it results in the production of ketones. These excess ketones are then excreted in the urine.

DKA is mainly triggered by:

  • Infection: Presence of an illness can lead to an increase in the levels of certain hormones that nullify the action of insulin.
  • Insulin regimen: Improper or missed doses of insulin can cause DKA.
  • Inadequate food intake

Other factors include:

  • Emotional or physical trauma
  • Heart attack
  • Alcohol or drug abuse, typically cocaine
  • Medication use

How is it diagnosed and treated?

A medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests help a doctor to diagnose the condition. HbA1c and other blood sugar measurements are done. Ketones are primarily checked if the patient is a known case of diabetes. It can be done either by a urine or blood test. Other tests include:

  • Arterial blood gas measurement
  • Urine analysis
  • Osmolality blood test
  • Biochemical tests (tests for sodium, potassium, calcium, etc.)

The goal of treatment for DKA is blood sugar control. Oral blood sugar lowering agents may be given initially, or if your sugar level is too high, insulin may be preferred. The treatment is decided based on the sugar levels of the patient. Treatment also involves fluid and electrolyte replacement.

Self-care tips:

  • Carefully monitor blood sugar levels.
  • After taking anti-diabetic medicines, you may feel hypoglycemic. Keeping a sugar candy or chocolate with you can be helpful in case of emergency.
  • Take medicines as prescribed.
  • Check for ketones every 4-6 hours when you do not feel well.
  • Avoid exercising if your urine test shows presence of ketones.
  • If you feel uncomfortable or any of the warning symptoms occur, call your physician right away.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Restrict sugar-containing foods in the diet.
  • Choose foods low in fat and high in fibre.
  • Exercising is encouraged once the blood is free of ketones and sugar levels are under control.
  1. Medicines for Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Medicines for Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Medicines listed below are available for Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
NovorapidNovorapid 100 Iu Cartridge530.0
Novomix 30 100 IuNovomix 30 100 Iu Flexpen672.0
Novomix 50Novomix 50 100 Iu Flexpen677.0
Insuman CombInsuman Comb 25/75 3 Ml Cartridge1085.0
Actrapid HmActrapid Hm 100 Iu Cartridge228.44
ActrapidActrapid 100 Iu Cartridge1250.0
Human ActrapidHuman Actrapid 40 Iu Injection140.7
Human MonotardHuman Monotard 100 Iu Injection384.11
Huminsulin RHuminsulin R 100 Iu Injection446.0
Insucare RInsucare R Injection140.07
Insugen RInsugen R 100 Iu Injection343.0
Insuman RapidInsuman Rapid 100 Iu Cartridge208.0
Wosulin RWosulin R 100 Iu Disposable Pen298.0
HumajectHumaject 100 Iu Cartridge1365.0
Humaject RHumaject R 100 Iu Cartridge1365.0
Human FastactHuman Fastact 40 Iu Injection145.58
Human InsunormHuman Insunorm 40 Iu Injection124.36
Human InteractHuman Interact 40 Iu Injection158.0
HumarapHumarap 40 Iu Injection141.88
Recosulin RRecosulin R 40 Iu Injection148.37
Rapisulin HpiRapisulin Hpi 400 Iu Injection110.5
HumalogHumalog 100 Iu Kwikpen640.0
Humalog MixHumalog 100 Iu/Ml Cartridge 3 Ml2550.0
RyzodegRyzodeg 100 Iu/2.56 Mg Penfill1700.0
WosulinWosulin Pen Royale Device450.0

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