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Frequently Asked Questions

What does DKA feel like?

Early signs and symptoms of DKA include: Thirst, which arises due to dehydration. Excessive urination, which occurs because the kidneys try to rid the body of excess glucose, and water is excreted along with the glucose.

What are signs of DKA?

High levels of ketones and high blood sugar (glucose) levels, particularly if vomiting is present, can be warning signs for the development of DKA. Always seek medical assistance in this situation. Contact your doctor immediately or go to a hospital emergency department.

What happens If DKA is not treated?

Both DKA and HHS are life-threatening medical emergencies. Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can damage your eyes. Blood vessel leakage and an overgrowth of new vessels can damage the vision-perceiving portion of the eye. These changes -- known as diabetic retinopathy -- are visible with an ophthalmic exam of the retina.

Why is potassium given in DKA?

Insulin promotes potassium entry into cells. When circulating insulin is lacking, as in DKA, potassium moves out of cells, thus raising plasma potassium levels even in the presence of total body potassium deficiency [2,3].

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