This is where the rubber meets the road, my T1 story, truths and life on May 21, 2015.
The past couple of days, no thanks to a mild case of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) have been a challenge.
Here’s an brief overview of DKA.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a buildup of acids in your blood. It can happen when your blood sugar is too high for too long. It could be life-threatening, but it usually takes many hours to become that serious.
What Causes DKA?
It usually happens because your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Your cells can’t use the sugar in your blood for energy, so they use fat for fuel instead. Burning fat makes acids called ketones and, if the process goes on for a while, they could build up in your blood. That excess can change the chemical balance of your blood and throw off your entire system.
People with type 1 diabetes are at risk for ketoacidosis, since their bodies don’t make any insulin. Your ketones can also go up when you miss a meal, you’re sick or stressed, or you have an insulin reaction.
DKA can happen to people with type 2 diabetes, but it’s rare.
Test your ketones when your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dL or you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as dry mouth, feeling really thirsty, or peeing a lot. You can check your levels with a urine test strip. Some glucose meters measure ketones, too. Try to bring your blood sugar down, and check your ketones again in 30 minutes.
Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if that doesn’t work, if you have any of the symptoms below and your ketones aren’t normal, or if you have more than one symptom.
- You’ve been throwing up for more than 2 hours.
- You feel queasy or your belly hurts.
- Your breath smells fruity.
- You’re tired, confused, or woozy.
- You’re having a hard time breathing.
You may have to go to the hospital. You’ll probably get insulin through an IV to bring your ketones down and fluids to get you hydrated and bring your blood chemistry back into balance. If you don’t treat ketoacidosis, you could pass out, go into a coma, and possibly die.
Type one diabetes is not for the faint of heart. You can do everything right to manage your disease and still have bumps in the road. There are good days and bad, ups and downs, highs and lows, but I speak my truths, tell my story and live my life.
How was your day?