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Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when a person’s blood glucose is too high because there is not enough insulin. Instead, the body starts to burn fat for energy. Fat is broken down into acids, causing acid levels to build up in the blood. These acids appear in urine and blood as ketones. DKA is a serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it is not promptly treated.
Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes is a higher level of glucose in the blood than is normal. Glucose travels through the body in the blood. A hormone called insulin then helps glucose move from the blood to the cells. Once glucose is in the cells it can be used for energy. A problem making or using insulin means glucose cannot move into cells. Insulin also helps glucose to move into the liver for storage if there is too much to use. Without enough insulin, glucose will build up in the blood. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. This will lead to the build up of glucose in the blood, also called hyperglycemia. At the same time, cells are not getting glucose they need to function well. Over a long period of time high blood glucose levels can also damage vital organs. The blood vessels, heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves are most commonly affected organs. Type 1 diabetes is often found during childhood and young adulthood.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition that makes it difficult for the body to use or store glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that cells use for energy. It comes from food, and is also created in the liver. Glucose travels through the body in the blood. A hormone called insulin helps to moves the glucose from the blood into cells. Insulin also helps to move glucose into the liver for storage if there is more in the blood than the body needs. Diabetes can lead to a buildup of glucose in the blood. This form of diabetes is the most common type in adults. Medication, lifestyle changes, and monitoring can help control blood glucose levels.
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