(Diabetic Coma; DKA)
- High blood glucose levels (greater than 250 mg per dL)
- Dry mouth and skin
- Frequent urination
- Vomiting and nausea
- Severe stomach pain
- Trouble breathing
- Fruity breath odor
- Rapid pulse
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- Take your insulin as recommended. Always have insulin available. Plan ahead for refills.
- Monitor your blood glucose level as recommended, generally at least 3-4 times per day. Monitor more often when you are sick or you have high blood glucose levels.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Check for ketones in your urine if you have a high blood glucose reading or are ill.
- Create a sick day plan that may include changes in insulin dose and what to do if you are having trouble eating.
- See your doctor if you have infection, cough, sore throat, or pain when you urinate.
- Contact your doctor
- Increase your insulin as recommended
- Eat foods that are low in carbohydrates
- Drink plenty of sugar-free and caffeine-free fluids
- Do not exercise until your glucose is in balance again
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 7, 2014. Accessed August 13, 2014.
Ketoacidosis (DKA). American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/ketoacidosis-dka.html. Accessed August 13, 2014.
Westerberg D. Diabetic ketoacidosis: Evaluation and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87(5):337-346..
- Reviewer: Kim Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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