diabetic ketoacidosis

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(DKA) a metabolic state resulting from a profound lack of insulin, usually found only in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Inability to inhibit glucose production from the liver results in hyperglycaemia, which can be extreme and lead to severe dehydration. The concurrent failure to suppress fatty-acid production from adipose tissue results in the excess conversion of fatty acids to ketones in the liver (ketosis) and the development of a metabolic acidosis, which can be severe. Patients often present with vomiting (from the ketosis), which contributes to the dehydration. The condition is treated as a medical emergency with intravenous fluid and insulin; patients should be monitored in high-dependency units.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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