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Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

Having very high blood-glucose levels for an extended period can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA happens when the body starts to burn fat and body tissue for energy. This releases toxic acids called ketones that build up in the blood and urine. DKA is a life-threatening condition, most common at diagnosis, and can occur when you’re ill, during a growth spurt or puberty, or if you haven’t taken your insulin. The main symptoms of DKA include:

  • heavy or laboured breathing;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • excessive thirst;
  • stomach pains;
  • stupor or unconsciousness.