I’m just wondering about Ketoacidosis, has anyone ever gotten to this point? What were your symptoms? and why did it happen?

At my diagnosis 30 years ago, I had been in DKA for probably 2 weeks. Drinking gallons and gallons and gallons of liquids everyday and peeing all the time. Rapid heartbeat all the time (tachycardia). Dehydration and lots of muscle cramps. Constantly incredibly tired. My breathing sounded like I was panting all the time. They tell me my breath smelled funny (not in a ha-ha way!). Then tummy started hurting real bad. Didn’t get to the hospital till I started hallucinating. I was on IV’s (potassium and insulin) for a week and didn’t get out of the hospital until I’d been there two weeks.

It’s possible to be spilling ketones and not be in full-blown DKA. But it’s a slippery slope!

I went through DKA and into a 3 day coma when I was 19. I didn’t know about either then. I remember being really tired, extremely thirsty, nausea, tummy bloat, headache, blurry vision, frequent urination until I caught the bus. Then throwing up(my lunch…thankfully inbetween bus changes), laboured breathing, in and out of consciousness, later on throwing up blood on the way to ER.

Looking a Tim’s DKA description, I don’t recall any stomach pain except while throwing up. I also don’t remember any cramps or hallucinations.

This happened on a Friday. I woke up 10 minutes late for work. I forgot to take my morning shot. I was back to work on Wednesday. (Sorry so graphic).

My son (15 yrs old) was in DKA when diagnosed on 9/28. He had all the classic symptoms: drinking and peeing excessively (getting up 5-6 times per night to go pee), he went from 140 lbs to 109 lbs in just a couple of weeks time, very blurry vision, labored breathing/short of breath, and vomiting. (The school nurse sent him home from school that week because he’d thrown up, and when I asked her if she thought it could be diabetes, she said, “Oh, no, of course not! There is a stomach bug going around!”) He also had the “fruity breath.” And he looked awful: gaunt, pale as death, dry lips, and very weak. His BG when diagnosed was over 600 and his A1C was 14. It was not fun.

Eric was in DKA when he was diagnosed at 18 months. He was peeing like crazy and asking for water all the time, and WICKED cranky and tired. I suspect he’d been in DKA for a while because I remember that about a week before his Dx, I was tying his shoe and I smelled fruity breath and wondered how on earth he’d gotten his hands on a juice box so early in the morning (it smelled just the same as if he’d just finished drinking juice). It wasn’t till later that I made the connection that his breath was fruity because of the diabetes.

We’ve had one false alarm since then – he had some kind of stomach bug last spring that kept him from eating and I was having trouble keeping his BG high enough to give him insulin, and I found he had high ketones (which is to be expected). I finally brought him to the hospital when he started complaining his tummy hurt… but it wasn’t DKA, it was just the virus. They gave him IV fluids and enough glucose that I could start giving him insulin and he bounced right back.

I haven't had ketoacidosis since I was diagnosed. If you buy ketone test strips (they're cheap at the drug store) you may find that you spill ketones occasionally (e.g. if you get a high BG >250), but the amount isn't large (the darker the color the more ketones) and they go away once you get your BG back down. Spilling ketones isn't the same thing as ketoacidosis - ketoacidosis requires your BG staying up for a longer period of time. The only time you really need to be concerned about ketoacidosis is if you get far too little insulin either because of not taking it or from becoming sick and very insulin resistant. In my experience ketoacidosis is very unlikely if you test your BG at least a few times a day and treat it when high to get it back to some semblance of normal.

When diagnosed I was spilling ketones and glucose in the urine, my stomach hurt, blurry vision, lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks, drinking and peeing constantly , sleepy, no labored breathing, BG over 500, but was probably not in full blown DKA yet.
Blood tests showed still showed reasonable bicarbonate, acidosis had not developed.

It can happen if you have a pump failure and no insulin is being delivered for an extended period and you don't notice it. (i.e. you are not testing). If you take a long acting insulin, like Lantus, you will have SOME insulin in your system at all times
so it is harder to get into full blown DKA. The other situation is if you are sick and not giving yourself insulin, insulin demand goes up due to the illness, and the insulin in your body is depleted.

As jag1 says, if you test and act, it is far less likely to happen.

Yes, there are a lot of us here who has experienced DKA, which is when you had keytones for too long and its poisoning your body...I think its different for everyone but for me I got a bad stomach virus, so I thought...I had horrible stomach pains, I threw up everything, I was completely dehydrated (i lost 20 pounds in like a day literally). I could not control my breathing or my heart beats. My kidneys started to shut down so my back hurt like hell and I couldnt walk. Ended up in the ICU...

I notice when I develope keytones my very first symptoms are I use the bathroom like crazy and I get nervous energy with heart beats slightly faster than normal. At that point I check and give myself a correct dosage of insulin. DKA/keytones usually occurs when your bloodsugars are extremely high for a period of time. Funny thing is just because your bloodsugar is high doesnt always mean you will develope keytones. You can also get them when its just slightly high.