Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Warning Signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Underlying Cause

Diabetic ketoacidosis is triggered by insufficient insulin, which causes glucose to accumulate in the bloodstream. Without adequate insulin, the body cannot metabolize the glucose so it begins to breakdown fats for energy. This leads to high acid levels in the bloodstream, as well as severe dehydration.

Missing or skipping insulin doses is a common trigger for DKA, as well as infections. When an infection occurs, the type 1 diabetic has more difficulty using the insulin that is available, making blood sugar harder to control.

Common triggers for diabetic ketoacidosis include:

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Diabetic Ketoacidosis References
  1. Agus MS, Wolfsdorf JI. Diabetic ketoacidosis in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Aug;52(4):1147-63, ix. [16009261]
  2. Charfen MA, Fernandez-Frackelton M. Diabetic ketoacidosis. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2005 Aug;23(3):609-28, vii. [15982537]
  3. Newton CA, Raskin P. Diabetic ketoacidosis in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus: clinical and biochemical differences. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Sep 27;164(17):1925-31. [15451769]
  4. Umpierrez GE, Kitabchi AE. Diabetic ketoacidosis: risk factors and management strategies. Treat Endocrinol. 2003;2(2):95-108. [15871546]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.