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Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

When to call the doctor

  • If you have any form of diabetes, contact your doctor when you have very high blood sugars (generally more than 350 mg) or moderate elevations that do not respond to home treatment. At initial diagnosis your doctor should have provided you with specific rules for dosing your medication(s) and for checking your urinary ketone level whenever you become ill. If not, ask your health care practitioner to provide such "sick day rules."
  • If you have diabetes and start vomiting, seek immediate medical attention.
  • If you have diabetes and develop a fever, contact your health care practitioner.
  • If you feel sick, check your urinary ketone levels with home test strips. If your urinary ketones are moderate or higher, contact your health care practitioner.

When to go to the hospital

People with diabetes should be taken to a hospital's emergency department if they appear significantly ill, dehydrated, confused, or very weak. Other reasons to seek immediate medical treatment include shortness of breath, chest pain, severe abdominal pain with vomiting, or high fever (above 101 F or 38.3 C).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/29/2014

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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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