Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a disease that affects multiple organs and has the potential to cause long-term complications that affect the quality of life of people who suffer from it.
However, there are also short-term (acute) complications that, if not treated promptly, can be life-threatening. One such complication is diabetic ketoacidosis, which is commonly known as “diabetic coma.”
What is diabetic ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication in which the functioning of the metabolism is modified.
It is usually characterized by very high blood glucose levels (or “hyperglycemia”), which are usually greater than 250 mg / dl and which are due to an almost absolute deficiency of insulin, as occurs in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus or in people with long-term type 2 diabetes mellitus, due to lack of administration of medications and even acute illnesses such as respiratory or intestinal infections.
By not being able to take advantage of the glucose found in the blood, due to the lack of insulin, the body begins to produce more glucose, since by not entering the cells it detects that there is none and begins to use the fat that is stored in the body.
When using this fat, substances known as ketone bodies are produced, which are toxic to our body when they are found in large quantities, since they alter the pH of the blood, making it more acidic and damaging organs such as the kidney or the brain.
What symptoms are present in diabetic ketoacidosis?
The most common symptoms are that people become increasingly thirsty due to dehydration, but at the same time they make them want to urinate all the time.
Patients urinate so often that they can even lose up to 6 liters of water a day as urine. There may also be weakness, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and as glucose levels are higher, the state of consciousness can be increasingly altered, that is, the “lucidity” of people, they are less attentive, they are confused to the point. point of power to lose this state of consciousness.
Go to an emergency center in case of diabetic ketoacidosis
It is extremely important to go to the emergency department for the care and timely management of people who have these symptoms, since the amount of fluids they lose by urinating so often cannot always be replaced by just drinking water, but rather require intravenous administration of liquids.
Likewise, insulin is required to be able to control glucose levels, reverse the change that has occurred in metabolism and help it return to a state of normality.
About 16% of the deaths that occur in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus are caused by this complication. We must be attentive to the presence of symptoms that may occur, but we must also prevent these complications.
Adherence to treatment and go to follow-up medical check-ups are recommended in case of any acute illness.