Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition that is associated with diabetes mellitus. DKA happens mostly in those that have Type 1 diabetes, although it may occur in some people that have Type 2 diabetes. Diabetic ketoacidosis results due to a shortage of insulin. It may be the symptom of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus. Symptoms of DKA include vomiting, dehydration, nausea, confusion, and sometimes coma. This condition is diagnosed through blood and urine testing. DKA, without proper treatment, can cause death. It was first discovered around 1886 and was almost universally fatal before the introduction of insulin in the 1920s. DKA is caused by a lack of insulin, high carbohydrate intake, and sometimes physical or mental stress.
First glucose builds up in the ECF, then the cells go into starvation mode and the body breaks down fat in an attempt to fix the problem. This causes the fat to turn into fatty acids with fill the blood and urine with ketones (ketonuria). High glucose in the EFC causes an osmotic shift of fluid from the cells to the blood. the liver gets involved and breaks down glycogen in an attempt to feed the cells but this only causes the blood glucose levels to increase because of the lack of insulin. Next the protein begins to break down causing a loss of nitrogen from the tissues. High glucose in the bloodstream causes osmotic concentration gradient: cells give up fluid (h2o) to ECF for fluid homeostasis. The glucose in the bloodstream is filtered in the kidney causing glucosuria. This causes an osmotic diuresis which results in a loss of electrolytes i.e.: Na+, K+. Shock, renal failure and coma are possible symptoms of DKA. This all results from the cells lack of glucose and starts a chain reaction in the body that creates one problem after another. The best treatment is early detection to prevent serious harm.