Tips for avoiding DKA

I understand the clinical explanation for what DKA is, but I have some questions about it.

Is it strictly a lack of insulin that causes it, so that regular insulin treatment will prevent it?
If I were to take insulin every other day (not planning to) would that be enough to prevent DKA? Is there a blood glucose range that is safe against it?

Are there any supplements/alternative therapies that prevent it? I read somewhere that DKA is basically a hydration issue? Is that true?

Joy @TiJoy, lack of sufficient insulin can be a cause of DKA but there are other factors involved, and hyperglycemia [high BGL levels of 500+ mg/dl] do not necessarily cause DKA. DKA can be caused by illness, drugs, hormones, medical conditions other than diabetes, and several other things.

In response to your hypothesis about taking insulin every other day: if your muscles and other body cells, including brain are not being used and not demanding to be fed, then they won’t break down because of lack of insulin. The acids, ketones are a bi-product from a body consuming itself to survive.

Inadequate hydration will cause elevated, erratic and difficult to manage BGL. The word “diabetes” is a Greek word meaning siphon; hence its use in identifying a primary symptom that is common with TypeOne diabetes mellitus and the several other conditions called Diabetes.

Hi, am NO expert, but just went thru DKA… exact number probably depend on a persons situation. Somebody correct me if i’m wrong, but I had a recent history of ridiculously high numbers for a while, then it took just a little tweak right over the edge. Was NOT fun, i don’t recommend trying to toe that line

That was my reboot. Ive gotten a much better handle on things (relatively speaking), and i actually feel much better tha(n i have for a while. (it is not all roses and butterflies by far, it’s scary and frustrating, and sometimes this disease has a mind of its own)

Will be interested to see what others say

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Wow, Dennis, I didn’t realize there were more than a few causes of DKA. Geez, I hope that doesn’t happen to me again! I am not going to try the alternate day insulin. I was just trying to clarify my question.
I agree, Val. No way I’d try to toe the line on that. My intro to T1D was being transported from the ER to ICU where I was dx’d with DKA, so just trying to learn about all things T1D. :slight_smile:
Thanks for sharing your experience :slight_smile:

You are welcome Joy. My introduction was also at diagnosis when a neighbor doctor came into our house, sniffed and asked “who has diabetes?”. The acetone aroma was so strong. Took days to get my BS down to a level where it could be measured and more than two weeks to clear the ketones from my urine. That was in the 1950’s and my total diabetes education given over the two weeks I was in hospital consisted of :

  1. How to measure insulin in a syringe and take the same amount everyday;
  2. How to ‘boil’ urine in a test-tube to check for sugar spillage;
  3. Stick to a [starvation] diet designed to match the insulin.

Surprisingly I’ve never had another bout of DKA although I’ve been hospitalized a couple of times when I couldn’t get my BGL below 500 - the hyperglycemia caused by infection.

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So, Dennis, where can I buy your book? :smiley:

So this is no point of pride, but I have gone through 4 episodes of DKA over a one year span. I was diagnosed at the age of 21, so out of denial, I did not manage my diabetes. My consulting job was mire important in my eyes at the time.

DKA is not fun, it’s painful and obviously very deadly. But what I learned from all the doctors was that had I AT LEAST taken my long-acting Triseba (similar to Lantus) then I would have avoided it. But it’s all situational just how diabetes affects individuals in different ways.

Here if you have any specific questions.

Ive had one DKA that required hospitalization. Living alone, I got off a 16 hour shift as a restaurant manager and spent the next 8 hours packing stuff as i was in the process of moving to a new apartment. Started feeling sick, so i tried to take a nap on the sofa(I had already moved the bedroom).
Woke up a few hours later throwing up and with diarrhea, turns out I had gotten the flu. To sick to go down the three flights of stairs to get my insulin pack and phone from my car. Became delirious and fell into a coma, a friend came by and found me 36 hours after it all started when I didnt show up for work. Doctors said I was a few hours away from death. My kidneys were too shriveled up from dehydratrion, they had to rehydrate me for a full day before they could start administering insulin again.

So Id say a large factor is dehydration. Im a loner, but you always need to let someone know if you are feeling sick and make sure you keep hydrated. We are particularly at high risk being insulin dependent.

Thank you, Ossamah and Edward.

there’s too many variables to really Answer that questions. You may not go into Acidosis but getting sick or getting dehydrated may though you over the edge a lot quicker if you constantly are high.

Thank you CPJJ414. I truly appreciate all of the comments

You are so right, @SpecialEDy, it is so important to have some type of system letting those people who care to know when something is wrong.