There's much you can do to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis and other diabetes complications.
- Make a commitment to managing your diabetes. Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine. Take oral diabetes medications or insulin as directed.
- Monitor your blood sugar level. You may need to check and record your blood sugar level at least three to four times a day — or more if you're ill or under stress. Careful monitoring is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range.
- Adjust your insulin dosage as needed. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about how to adjust your insulin dosage depending on your blood sugar level, what you eat, how active you are, whether you're ill and other factors. If your blood sugar level begins to rise, follow your diabetes treatment plan to return your blood sugar level to your target range.
- Check your ketone level. When you're ill or under stress, test your urine for excess ketones with an over-the-counter urine ketones test kit. If your ketone level is moderate or high, contact your doctor right away or seek emergency care.
- Be prepared to act quickly. If you suspect that you have diabetic ketoacidosis — your blood sugar level is high and you have excess ketones in your urine — seek emergency care.
Diabetes complications are scary. But don't let fear keep you from taking good care of yourself. Follow your diabetes treatment plan carefully, and ask your diabetes treatment team for help when you need it.
Oct. 23, 2012
- Ketoacidosis (DKA). American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/ketoacidosis-dka.html. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..C2010-0-68318-0&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&uniqId=343834918-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..C2010-0-68318-0--TOP. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Kitabchi A, et al. Hyperglycemic crises in adult patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2009;32:1335.
- Siafarikas A, et al. Type 1 diabetes in children: Emergency management. Australian Family Physician. 2010;39:290.
- Usher-Smith JA, et al. Factors associated with the presence of diabetic ketoacidosis at diagnosis of diabetes in children and young adults: A systematic review. British Medical Journal. 2011;343:d4092.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9141196. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=15524. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Checking for ketones. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-for-ketones.html. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Castro MR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 6, 2012.