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Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cont.)

Exams and Tests for Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis is typically made after the health care practitioner obtains a history, performs a physical examination, and reviews the laboratory tests.

  • Blood tests will be ordered to document the levels of sugar, potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes. Ketone level and kidney function tests along with a blood gas sample (to assess the blood acid level, or pH) are also commonly performed.
  • Other tests may be used to check for conditions that may have triggered the diabetic ketoacidosis, based on the history and physical examination findings. These may include chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), urine analysis, and possibly a CT scan of the brain.

Self-Care at Home for Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Home care is generally directed toward preventing diabetic ketoacidosis and treating moderately to elevated to high levels of blood sugar.

  • If you have type 1 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugars as instructed by your health care practitioner. Check these levels more often if you feel ill, if you are fighting an infection, or if you have had a recent illness or injury.
  • Your health care practitioner may recommend treating moderate elevations in blood sugar with additional injections of a short-acting form of insulin. Working with their health care practitioner, people with diabetes should have previously arranged a regimen of extra insulin injections and more frequent blood glucose and urinary ketone monitoring for home treatment as blood sugar levels begin to rise.
  • Be alert for signs of infection and keep yourself well hydrated by drinking sugar free fluids throughout the day.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/5/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Diabetic Ketoacidosis »

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute, major, life-threatening complication of diabetes.

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