6 Emergency Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

The Chemistry Behind the Crisis

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Diabetes and shortness of breath

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Left untreated, it can lead to coma and death. And in some instances, people discover that they have diabetes after they land in the hospital with DKA.

DKA starts with a lack of the hormone insulin. When things are working normally, insulin ushers glucose a kind of sugar from food into cells, where it can communative property and lesson plan converted into energy.

But without enough insulin in the body, glucose accumulates in the blood, where it is of little use. As the body tries to clear the surplus glucose out of its blood through urination, a person may become dangerously dehydrated. At the same time, the body starts to liquidate fat deposits for energy. Fat is indeed rich in energy, but breaking down these stockpiles produces acidic side products called ketones.

In high enough concentrations, ketones become toxic by making the blood more acidic. This imbalance is the crux of DKA and gives this complication its name. This increase in blood acidity can severely disrupt the finely tuned chemical processes in your body that keep you living and healthy.

A more deadly but less common complication of diabetes, diabetes and shortness of breath, which has some overlap in symptoms with DKA, is hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state HHS. This condition is most common in older people with type 2, although it can also occur in younger people or those with type 1.

Symptoms may also include thirst, confusion or hallucinations, and fever. The main difference from DKA is the absence of cottage and small house plans production in the body.

People with HHS still have enough insulin in their bodies to suppress ketones, so diagnosis usually involves identifying very high diabetes and shortness of breath glucose diabetes and shortness of breath dehydration in the absence of ketone-induced acidosis. Hydrate, balance electrolytes, and get blood glucose under control. The most common triggers for DKA are illnesses or infections, which promote the production of certain hormones in the body that counteract insulin.

The condition may also arise from other events that place stress on the body, such as heart attack and stroke. In addition, missing insulin doses, undetected insulin pump failure, and certain medications can lead to the development of DKA.

DKA can develop rapidly, typically in less than 24 hours. It brings on a range of symptoms. Frequent urination from hyperglycemia results in dehydration and tremendous thirst. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diabetes and shortness of breath, and confusion. Shortness of breath is another DKA symptom.

Some people get what is called "euglycemic DKA," meaning that although their blood glucose is not elevated, they diabetes and shortness of breath still producing ketones. The key to diabetes and shortness of breath DKA is checking ketone levels in the urine. If you have DKA symptoms, consistently high blood glucose, or persistently high urinary ketones, you should immediately seek emergency care. This is especially true if you have or recently had an illness or infection.

DKA is typically treated in an intensive care unit using a three-pronged approach. Intravenous fluid replacement is necessary to combat dehydration. Electrolytes—which affect the heart, muscles, and nerve cells—are reduced in DKA, so treatment also focuses on bringing them back to healthy levels. Finally, since a lack of insulin brings on DKA, insulin treatment reverses the process.

Insulin will bring down blood glucose and halt the acidification of blood by ketones. With prompt treatment, DKA is usually quickly reversed and may require only a day or two in the hospital. Between andthere was a 35 percent increase in DKA-related hospitalizations in the United States. Some studies suggest that skyrocketing medical costs may be to blame; people may be putting themselves at risk for DKA by cutting back on insulin to save money.

Well-Being Fitness Weight Loss, diabetes and shortness of breath. You May Also Like. Professional Resources Shop Diabetes. Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State A more deadly but less common complication of diabetes, which has some overlap in symptoms with DKA, is hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state HHS.


Diabetes and shortness of breath