Diabetic Ketoacidosis

(Diabetic Coma; DKA)


Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when a person’s blood sugar (glucose) is too high because there is not enough insulin. Instead, the body starts to burn fat for energy. Fat is broken down into acids, causing acid levels to build up in the blood. These acids appear in urine and blood as ketones. DKA is a serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it is not promptly treated.


DKA is most often caused by uncontrolled type 1 diabetes and sometimes type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of DKA:


DKA may cause:
  • High blood glucose levels (greater than 250 mg per dL)
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Thirst
  • Frequent urination
Call for emergency medical services right away if you have:
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fruity breath odor
  • Rapid pulse


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A urine and/or blood test will be done to look for the presence of ketones.

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »