May also be called: DKA
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) (kee-toh-ah-sih-DOH-sis) is a life-threatening condition that happens when the body uses fat for energy instead of glucose.
Glucose (a type of sugar) is the body's main energy source. But when the body can't use glucose for fuel — for instance, in someone with uncontrolled diabetes — the body breaks down fat for energy instead.
When fat is broken down, the body produces chemicals called ketones, which appear in the blood and urine (pee). High levels of ketones cause blood to have a high acid level.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is life threatening and requires immediate medical evaluation and treatment.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|Definition: Ketoacidosis Ketoacidosis is a severe life-threatening condition requiring immediate treatment.|
|Definition: Ketoacidosis Ketoacidosis is a severe life-threatening condition requiring immediate treatment. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, and, in severe cases, unconsciousness.|
|Diabetes: When to Call the Doctor Taking care of your diabetes includes knowing when to call a doctor and get medical help.|
|Diabetes: When to Call the Doctor Caring for a child with diabetes includes knowing when to get medical help. Learn more about when to call the doctor.|
|Hyperglycemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible.|
|Type 1 Diabetes: What Is It? Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body's main source of fuel. In type 1 diabetes, glucose can't get into the body's cells where it's needed.|
|Type 1 Diabetes: What Is It? Every year in the United States, 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With some practical knowledge, you can become your child's most important ally in learning to live with the disease.|
|Type 1 Diabetes: What Is It? Thousands of kids all over the world have type 1 diabetes, a disease that affects how the body uses glucose.|
|Diabetes Center Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.|
|Keeping Track of Your Blood Sugar To keep your diabetes under control, stay healthy, and prevent future problems, you need to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. To do that, check and track those levels regularly.|
|Word! Ketoacidosis Ketoacidosis, a condition that can happen to people with diabetes, occurs when the body uses fat instead of glucose for fuel.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.