Diabetic ketoacidosis develops when the level of toxic acids called ketones rises dramatically in the bloodstream. This diabetes-related complication occurs when abysmally low levels of insulin in your blood impairs absorption of glucose from the bloodstream, thereby depriving your body of its main source of energy.
To meet its energy requirement, your body will start breaking down fats. Ketones are produced as byproducts of fat metabolism. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal if left untreated. It can be prevented by keeping the blood sugar under control and monitoring the glucose and the ketone levels.
Tips To Control And Prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Manage Your Blood Sugar Level
For diabetics, keeping the blood sugar level under control is the only option for preventing diabetes-related complications including diabetic ketoacidosis. A healthy diet combined with regular physical activities can help to keep your blood sugar level close to the normal level. For insulin-dependent diabetes, it is necessary to take insulin and other diabetes medications as directed by the physician.
Check Blood Glucose Level Regularly
Blood glucose self-testing kits help diabetics to monitor their blood sugar level. Type 1 diabetes patients should check their blood sugar level three or more times each day. Blood sugar is normally tested before and after meals, before going to bed and before and after workouts or physical activities.
Occasionally, physicians may ask their patients to check their blood sugar level during the night. Multiple blood sugar tested is usually needed to monitor the glucose level during illnesses, when a patient is introduced to a new diabetes medication or when the daily routine changes.
People suffering from type 2 diabetes should check their blood sugar level one or more times daily. The blood sugar level is usually tested before meals, especially in the morning or after fasting for eight or more hours. Sometimes, your physician may instruct you to check your serum glucose level after meals, especially when your doctor changes the dosage of your insulin medication or introduces a new medication. However, type 2 diabetes patients can keep their blood glucose level under control with diet, exercise and non-insulin medications may skip daily blood sugar testing.
Check Ketone Level
The risk of developing ketoacidosis is particularly high in people who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or diabetics who do not monitor their blood sugar level regularly. It may occur after your physician changes the dosage of the insulin medication or changes your diabetes medication. Your body needs extra energy to fight illnesses and stress.
Therefore, when you are ill or under stress, your body uses its glucose reserve to release the excess glucose in the bloodstream. However, if you do not have enough insulin to absorb the glucose, your body will switch to fat as a source of energy.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can be prevented by checking the ketone level in the urine and blood when you are ill, stressed, your blood sugar level is high or after you start a new diabetes medication. Over-the-counter ketone testing kits are available for checking the ketone level. You should seek emergency medical care if the ketone level in your urine is higher than normal.