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The Health Chronicle newsletter is part of HAP’s overall program to help members improve their health by ofering practical suggestions for living with chronic conditions. To provide suggestions on improving our programs, e-mail us at HAPsHealthTrack@hap.org or call HAP’s HealthTrack Program toll-free at (800) 288-2902. The information in this publication does not change or replace the information in your HAP Subscriber Contract, Group Health Insurance Policy, Riders or Handbooks and does not necessarily refect the policies or opinions of HAP, its ofcers or board of directors. The information is for general educational purposes and is not a substitution for the advice of your doctor. You should consult your HAP personal care physician for your health care needs. HAP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex or mental or physical disability in its employment practices or in the provision of health care services.

Be Keen About Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis may not be a household name. But it’s a word people with diabetes should get to know. This complication usually occurs in people with Type 1 diabetes. Still, it’s also a concern for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Ketoacidosis can be serious. So when it occurs, it’s important to recognize the warning signs and take action immediately. Here are the key facts you need to know.

What It Is

The body requires insulin to use glucose in the blood for energy. When there isn’t enough insulin, the body starts to burn fat for energy instead. Fat burning creates waste products called ketones. They can build up in blood and show up in urine. Having high levels of ketones in the body creates ketoacidosis. This condition afects people of all ages. In fact, a study in Pediatrics found that it signals Type 1 diabetes in about 30 percent of children with the disease.

Spot the Warning Signs

You can check your ketone level at home with a simple urine test. Ask your doctor about it. You might be instructed to test for ketones if your blood glucose level rises above 300 mg/dl. You also may need to test for it if you develop symptoms. Early symptoms include:

●● Thirst

●● Dry mouth

●● Frequent urination

Signs that could mean it’s getting worse include:

●● Constant fatigue

●● Flushed or dry skin

●● Fruity-smelling breath

●● Difculty breathing

●● Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain

●● Confusion or foggy thinking

If you develop these symptoms, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. Left untreated, ketoacidosis could lead to coma or even death. Fast action is needed to avoid serious problems and get diabetes back under control.

28M 10/10 723

Our Nurse Health Coaches can help you prevent problems from diabetes and follow your treatment plan. To talk with one, call

(800) 288-2902.

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