Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
If your body does not have enough insulin, it can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It can occur when you’re ill, during a growth spurt or puberty, or if you haven’t taken your insulin.
DKA occurs when a severe lack of insulin means the body cannot use glucose for energy and starts to break down fat instead. Organic compounds called ketones are the by-product of the breakdown of fat and, if left unchecked, can build up and cause the body to become acidic.
The main symptoms of DKA include:
- Heavy or laboured breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive thirst
- Stomach pains
- Stupor or unconsciousness
What should I do?
If you are experiencing these symptoms you must go to hospital immediately. DKA is very serious, and can be fatal.