Ketoacidosis and T1D – part 1

Long time no see, what have happened? Me, Cecilia, got very sick in ketoacidosis due to an unknown and newly developed diabetes type 1. Very chocking and unexpected!

What is ketoacidosis?

Shortly explained, ketoacidosis is a metabolic state where there are to many ketone bodies available that make the body too acid, making the blood extremely low in pH (< 7,3). The blood glucose is on the other hand very high since no or very little insulin is produced.

My symptoms of ketoacidosis

Apart from the tiredness I’ve felt the last couple of weeks I started to feel sick almost a week before going to the emergency room. I had nausea and a terrible head ache at the left side of my head, so badly I had to take a painkiller in order to be able to sleep, which I never do otherwise. At this point, I had also started to drink and pee abnormal amounts and experienced a very dry mouth. I tried to go to work Monday morning but headed home again at lunchtime since I had extremely bad energy and felt weird.

At this time I was quite sure it was a regular virus that I could handle just by getting some rest. But, by each day, I felt sicker and sicker. I couldn’t eat anything and instead I had some fruit juice that was a nice cure for the dryness in the mouth as well as the lack of energy. We never ever normally drink juice due to all the fructose!

Later in the week I started to having difficulties with the breathing, hyperventilation and chest pains. Maybe at this point it would be a good idea to seek help… But I took another painkiller, which didn’t help at all. Then at Friday morning it just wasn’t possible to handle the hyperventilation, chest pain and not being able to eat anymore.

Getting help for ketoacidosis

Friday morning we called for transport to the emergency ward. A nurse first came home to us with a regular car but she thought I was too sick and was worried about my heart, which wasn’t in order, so she asked for an ambulance to pick me up. Before going, I got morphine for the chest pains, I don’t remember them as that bad but I guess they were. The ambulance nurses tested my blood glucose and quickly realised that was the main problem since the monitor didn’t even show a number, only the letters HI because it was out of scale. Above 36 mmol/L (~650 mg/dL). Very high! (The normal amount being about 6.)

Well, now you know for a start what have happened. I’ll come back later with the rest of the story and the recovery part. I will use this blog as a forum to discuss my diabetes type 1 as well since it’s important to talk about and question how the health care deal with it today.

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It’ll take some time getting back in shape again.

Stay tuned,

Cecilia

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