Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children
What is diabetic ketoacidosis?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious, life-threatening complication of lack of insulin. It may happen if your child has type 1 diabetes. (It rarely happens with type 2 diabetes.) It is an emergency that must be treated right away. If ketoacidosis is not treated right away, it can cause diabetic coma or death.
What is the cause?
Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when your child’s body does not have enough insulin. Without insulin, sugars in the blood cannot move out of the blood and into cells, and so the cells burn fats instead of sugar for energy. The burning of fats makes byproducts called ketones. The ketones build up to poisonous and dangerous levels in the blood. High blood sugar often happens at the same time as ketoacidosis because sugar also builds up in the blood.