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Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis

High blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) that is not treated can lead to a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (or DKA for short). It is caused by the build‑up of harmful ketones in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk of DKA.

You may be advised to test for ketones in your blood or urine as part of sick-day rules.

Your blood ketones may be measured by a healthcare professional if it is thought you might have DKA.

If you have DKA you will need emergency treatment in hospital by a specialist care team. This will include having fluids through a drip.

Questions to ask about DKA

  • What is DKA? Why might I get it?

  • How will I be able to tell if I have DKA?

  • When and how should I test for ketones?

  • What should I do if my ketone levels are high?

  • Why do I have to go to hospital if I have DKA?

  • Information Standard