Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Question:

What symptoms did you experience with diabetic ketoacidosis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Wendy stewart, 55-64 (Caregiver) Published: July 24

After months of vomiting he started having severe diarrhea from diabetic ketoacidosis. I came home to find my husband dead on our bedroom floor. They said his secondary cause of death was flatline and his first was respiratory failure. He was 57 years old, he wouldn't listen to his doctors or stay in the hospital. People please, diabetes isn't a game, take care of yourself.

Comment from: Anonymous, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I didn't know anything about diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) until I was admitted into the ICU. Learning about DKA now, I've had moderate DKA on and off for years. I thought my vomiting, stomach pain were the result of metformin and switched to Invokana. I experienced extreme weight loss and dehydration but thought these were normal (Invokana shown to help diabetics lose weight). I have been under extreme financial and emotional stress for the past few years as well. What I would want others to know is that it is difficult to identify DKA from medication side effects; until DKA is at the ICU level. I was given so much potassium and other electrolytes. Stress is also a huge factor for me. While in the ICU my ex-husband (knowing I was in the ICU) started more harassment. The nurses documented an over 100 jump in my blood sugar after a phone call to deal with the harassment. I've started tracking stress and my blood sugar. It is impossible to get control of my blood sugar during high stress. If I add more insulin, I have a dangerous crash later. Keeping a calm environment as much as I can helps.

Comment from: Buddy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 14

I have type 2 diabetes. I gave myself more than 300 shots. My doctor put me on metformin. This takes the place of insulin shots. There are three different doses. What made it for me was 850 mg per meal. I count my carbohydrates, 60 per meal, and take my pill. I have seen here, folks that have 200, 300, 695 mg/dl of glucose. It is tough to manage, but if you keep to it, you will do well. Check the bottoms of your feet daily. If you are ticklish, you are doing fine. Give up cakes, pies, ice cream and other things high in carbohydrates. If you do, you will be fine. By the way, my average glucose reading is less than 120. Set that as your goal. Have good days!

Comment from: Wonderment, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I have been having really different symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis for the last two weeks. I am type 2 diabetic. I have been really thirsty, even waking up to drink in the middle of the night, and so of course going more frequently to the bathroom, even several times at night. My blood sugars have been in the high 200s 300s and a couple low 400s. My heart rate is high. I can constantly feel it in my ears. I am disoriented at times which sometimes feels like a headache but isn't. One day I'm good and the very next day I can't even function, just want to stay in bed. I am not depressed, just weak body.

Comment from: Mommyduck04, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

When I was 29, about three years ago, I began to have the constant urge to urinate. It was almost like a UTI, but without the burning. The urge and frequency got worse and worse. My husband took me to the ER and they put me on antibiotics, assuming I had a UTI. The antibiotics did not help at all. I had to start wearing diapers because I just could not make it to the restroom on time. I was thirsty ALL the time. I drank and drank and drank and drank. Simultaneously, I urinated, urinated, and urinated. I felt tired with a lack of appetite. Finally my husband took me back to the ER and within twenty minutes, the doctor came back and said I had diabetic ketoacidosis. My husband and I were completely and utterly shocked. I had no signs of diabetes up to this point. My blood sugar was 797. They rushed me to ICU and I slipped into a coma. I was in a diabetic coma for five days and thereafter, in the hospital for three more weeks until the doctors could figure out what kind of insulin I needed and how much. It was a frustrating process for everyone involved. I eventually was referred out to an endocrinologist and they finally were able to figure out the puzzle, which was what insulin, how much, and how often. It was difficult and took great patience, but three years later, I am hear and my blood sugar levels are being controlled with the right insulin, exercise, diet, good doctors, and a lot of hard work. Do not ignore the signs. Do not wait until you are in diabetic ketoacidosis to get help. Follow your gut instincts and listen to those around you who know you the best. DO NOT be stubborn. It could be the difference between life and death. I NEVER suspected diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes, at 29 years of age. I always assumed that was a childhood disease. That is such a common, yet untrue understanding people have. I now depend on two types of insulin every day of my life to live. I'm okay with that, as long as I am alive. The best advice I can give you overall is, do not ignore the warning signs. You know your body. When things don't feel right, they probably aren't. Catch diabetes early, before it turns into diabetic ketoacidosis.

Comment from: Tracey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I can't stop throwing up because of diabetic ketoacidosis. I have not had anything to eat or drink much in 3 days, I have big infection.

Comment from: karkar, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 19

Our daughter has been in the hospital a lot for ketones and diabetic ketoacidosis in the last couple years. She takes fast acting insulin in the morning and long lasting and fast acting insulin as needed during the day and another long lasting insulin at bedtime. If she misses even one correction dose in a day she develops ketones within a matter of hours. She gets very frustrated because everyone tells her she must not be taking her insulin. There are 3 type 1s between spouse and siblings in our family and this never happens with them.

Comment from: Desi, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 18

My son was thirsty all the time and then started vomiting. He said his arms, legs and back were hurting. I took him to the ER and he was sent to UCD Davis Children's Hospital for ketoacidosis. We did not know he was diabetic. His blood sugar was 695. He was in the ICU for three days and then a regular room for two. He now takes two different insulins and counts carbs. It's been life-changing for the entire family. He is now also suffering from depression, saying he can't imagine giving himself five or six shots of insulin a day for the rest of his life. It's very stressful.

Comment from: eli, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

With diabetic ketoacidosis, I had extreme thirst and fatigue and I was shaking nervously.

Comment from: mary, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I have lost at least 100 pounds and have a problem with having a really dry mouth. I stay extremely thirsty and am up a lot during the night with going to the restroom and getting water. My urine has a funny odor to it and I am so tired lately. The last few days I have had a lot of pain in my back.

Comment from: jipsi27, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I have only had diabetes for 9 years, and to be honest never treated it as seriously as I should, taking insulin here and there, not worrying if I forgot it. However, at Christmastime last year I began losing a lot of weight, losing my appetite and going to the toilet more. I had almost forgot I had diabetes altogether and I was loving the weight loss, until 5 weeks ago. My legs were aching and I was so tired. I felt really frail, had terrible heartburn and a severe pain in my back that I could hardly breathe. My husband took 1 look at me and rushed me straight to the hospital. I had diabetic ketoacidosis. I was in hospital for a few days having to be totally hydrated again, as all I was skin and bones. I had drips everywhere ad my veins had collapsed so the nurses were taking blood from my feet. I am fine now but still recovering, and it has given me the biggest scare of my life. My husband now makes sure I take at least 5 blood readings a day and all insulin and tablets are taken at correct times. I will never take my diabetes i such a nonchalant way again.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I had a very dry mouth and I woke up in the night to drink water. I started vomiting and I thought I caught the flu from my kids. Oops. Three days in ICU.

Comment from: Brett, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 11

I tend to be very sensitive to diabetic ketoacidosis. I have been hospitalized 9 times for this. The past 3 ER visits, my BS were only 250-350. Both the ambulance attendants and ER staff shrugged off my concerns of DKA stating that my sugar was not high enough to put me in DKA. I was vomiting so violently that I had ripped my stomach and throwing up blood. After blood work at the ER it was diagnosed as DKA and showed a high level of acetones.

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Medically reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism

REFERENCE: Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

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