Diabetic Ketoacidosis | Overview


What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (say: "key-toe-acid-oh-sis"), or DKA, happens when a combination of high blood sugar levels and not enough insulin in the body cause a build-up of acids called ketones. Ketones are toxic. If DKA isn't treated, it can lead to diabetic coma and even death. It mainly affects people who have type 1 diabetes. However, it can also happen with other types of diabetes, including type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (during pregnancy).


Diabetic Ketoacidosis by David E. Trachtenbarg, M.D. (American Family Physician May 01, 2005, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20050501/1705.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 07/05