When is dka dangerous?

Hi all,
Had a rough couple of days actually more like nights. For some reason my pump was getting air bubbles into the reservoir after a couple of hours of setting it up. My blood sugars were going up and down and at first I thought it was just something with me, however Sunday night I woke up at 3 am with burning stomach pain and naseau and with a bg of 400! Did an injection, changes entire pump site and reservoir and by 7am was back to normal and besides being tired from being up was ok. Then again last night awoke at 1 am to extreme stomach pain that I cant explain and nasaeu but no vomiting with a bg of 300, did an injection changed pump and reservoir again drank some water, by 7 am was 200 and by 8:30 am was too low at 60. I know I had some dka as Ive been a diabetic for 26 years, however Im a stubborn one when having to admit Im sick but last night I could of used some help. When is dka truly dangerous, I heard only when theres vomiting, is that true? btw I did contact minimed and some new lot number of supplies are on there way. Also decided to go back on the sensor which I haven't used in a loooooong time, anyone know why when charging the green light flashes then goes to the red flashing light, changed battery, is sensor no good? Thanks!

DKA is always dangerous! DKA is a medical emergency, and without treatment it can lead to death. High blood glucose is not the definition of DKA.

Your transmitter is probably dead. Instructions for use can be downloaded from Medtronics website. Go to support and then to downloads library. Good luck with glucose sensing. Don't give up on it!!

DKA is always dangerous and potentially life-threatening. If you have DKA you cannot correct the situation without medical help, because it means that your ketone levels are so high that your blood pH has been altered.

What many people call "DKA" is just high BG and ketones, which can make you feel terrible and puts you at risk of developing DKA, but is not actually DKA.

I would think if you have high BG and ketones and can't bring them down yourself after several tries, or if you feel so terrible that you think you're actually in DKA, then you should seek medical attention.

I agree with these comments - DKA is ALWAYS dangerous and needs immediate attention. This is something that cannot be taken care of yourself.

I also agree with others here that you didn't reach DKA. As noted, high BG does not automatically mean DKA is occurring.

High BG, and elevating ketones, as Jen points out, will make you feel pretty bad all on their own.

Dear Priscilla,
I hope that by the time you read this you have checked in with your endocrinologist or primary care physician. I experienced a similar issue with Medtronic in 2009. My pump actually stopped infusing insulin in the middle of the night and I woke up at 400 with nausea and labored breathing. I also had some heart palpitations and called my endocrinologist who instructed me to go to the ER immediately. I'm so thankful I did, because I was not only in DKA, but I had an anion gap which is a DANGEROUS condition that occurs with metabolic acidosis. This, along with, hypokalemia (low potassium) can cause tachycardia and arrhythmia- which are rapid heart beats and irregular rhythms of the heart respectively. I cannot stress enough to you that DKA with or without an anion gap can be a LIFE THREATENING emergency. I have had diabetes 25 years and before this incident often made the mistake of assuming I was in "control" of my disease because I had a "good" A1C and wore a pump. I contacted Medtronic more than I contacted my endocrinologist. The reality is we are relying on man-made equipment to keep us alive and if that equipment fails, we are facing a body with extreme biochemical challenges. Please be careful.

You said you checked your sugar did you check for Keytones? When you are that high you should check right away. Just because your sugar goes down doesn't mean the keytones aren't still present and could still be causing problems.

So how regularly do you all check for ketones? I've never done it since my blood sugar hasn't stayed real high for any length of time (I'm on MDI with basal/bolus).

On MDI I only really checked for ketones if I was sick. And that's the only time I ever had them, too.

On the pump, I check much more often. Any time my blood sugar is high for more than a few hours, or any time I feel off, or if I test and my blood sugar is extremely high (like 450 mg/dl) unexpectedly, I will check. On the pump I get ketones MUCH more easily than I did on MDI. If I see ketones plus high blood sugar with the pump, I'm far more apt to change my infusion set immediately; if I'm just high with no ketones, I'm more apt to correct and wait or do some exercise to try and bring it down.