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Carlos: a medical emergency

Carlos continues to experience issues with regulating his insulin and during a particularly nasty cold and flu virus forgets to take his insulin.

He has very high levels of glucose in his blood and these are causing him to urinate a lot, which is leading to dehydration.

With very high blood glucose levels, his ketone bodies (a fat based fuel that his body makes because his cells think they are starving since glucose cannot be transported into the cells without insulin) are very high and his blood has an acid character.

He has diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is a medical emergency and needs prompt treatment in hospital.

What do you think will happen if Carlos doesn’t get prompt treatment?

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Insulin

University of Southampton