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From British Columbia, Canada:

My 8 year old daughter (diagnosed 2 years ago) was recently admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). She had gastroenteritis for one day prior to admission. Her sugars ranged from 2.9 to 13.1. She vomited heavily and had diarrhea for one day. I thought DKA came when their sugars became high. Can you explain why she had ketoacidosis?


Illness in diabetes very often leads to an increased body requirement for insulin. The fact that your daughter's blood sugars weren't very high doesn't mean that there was enough insulin around but simply that she probably wasn't absorbing much from her gut since she had gastroenteritis. The relative insulin lack leads to alternative fuel production -- from the production of ketones -- hence the ketoacidosis.


Original posting 23 Mar 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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