Your job as a home health aide includes understanding the risks posed by your patient’s condition. For people with diabetes, the most significant threat they face is diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening situation in which appropriate care is needed to make sure your patient does not progress into this complication of diabetes.
First, let us define what diabetic ketoacidosis is. It is a state in which the body burns too much of its fat deposits to provide energy. Ketones instead of glucose are then used as energy sources.
There are many situations in which diabetic ketoacidosis may arise, and these include:
- The body has low levels of insulin or is not producing insulin at all. Without insulin, glucose is not converted to calories. This forces the body to turn on its fat reserves for fuel.
- The liver is converting too much sugar into glucose.
Burning fat as an alternate energy source is a normal function of the body, which usually occurs when you haven’t eaten more than four hours after your last meal. This process happens to ensures a continuous supply of energy.
With diabetics, however, unstable insulin levels can cause the breaking down of excessive fat.
Unfortunately, ketones are acidic and can damage blood vessels and nerves when too many of them are in the blood.
When ketoacidosis occurs, it’s important to rush the patient over to health care services in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to remedy the situation.