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Ketoacidosis in childhood diabetes

Ketoacidosis in childhood diabetes

Actually, 4 out of 10 children with diabetes in Spain, present ketoacidosis at the time of diagnosis, a serious complication that can endanger the life of the patient.

The lack of information for the recognition of symptoms often delays the diagnosis and puts the health of minors at risk. The intense thirst, the need to urinate frequently, the weightloss without apparent cause, the abdominal pain, the appearance of vomiting, tiredness, blurred vision, and irritability are some of the most common symptoms of ketoacidosis and childhood diabetes.

Basically, ketoacidosis in childhood diabetes consists of a serious complication of diabetes, which appears as a consequence of the lack of insulin in the body and which can even endanger the life of the child with diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease in which there is a deficit in the production by the pancreas of the hormone that regulates glucose levels, insulin. Saying deficit causes an increase in blood glucose levels, a situation that can cause short-term problems, mainly ketoacidosis. In this respect, diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication And it carries a life-threatening risk, if not treated early. However, even today many patients are diagnosed with diabetes in ketoacidosis.

On the other hand, ketoacidosis can occur after a period during which the symptoms can be mild and sometimes go unnoticed or do so abruptly, as occurs in younger children. The approximate time of the duration of previous symptoms the diagnosis of ketoacidosis is Two or three weeks, although it tends to be shorter in those under 5 years of age, presumably because the beta cell is more sensitive to autoimmune aggression.

In children under five years of age and, from a clinical point of view, the diagnosis is more difficult because the symptoms are not as frequent and are usually more nonspecific. Because it is due to a delay in diagnosis, it is essential that once symptoms of diabetes are suspected, a prompt capillary blood glucose. If it is altered, that is, if the glucose level is high, it is very important to take the child to a hospital, since a delay in the start of treatment increases the risk of developing ketoacidosis.

It is as simple as going to the nearest pharmacy and giving a little finger prick. Capillary blood glucose consists of taking a blood sample after performing a puncture of the fingertipto get a drop of blood from the child. This sample is placed on a test strip, which will inform us at the time of the blood glucose index it presents.

In other countries, sensitization of all health professionals, family doctors, nurses, pediatricians, pharmacists, as well as teachers of nurseries, schools and institutes and even health authorities, has managed to significantly reduce the diagnosis of the disease in this serious clinical situation, what is the ketoacidosis.

Currently, according to the study carried out by the diabetes group of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Endocrinology (SEEP), 51.7 percent of children under 5 years of age present the severe form of ketoacidosis. This percentage rises to 69 percent in children under 2 years of age. According to this study, debut with ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetes in children is still very high, both in number and gravity, especially in under 5 years. The age at which there were more cases diagnosed was 8 years. By age group, 46 percent of the children were between 5 and 10 years old at the time of debut, 28 percent were between 10 and 15, and the remaining 26 percent were between 0 and 5 years old.

Sources consulted:
- Spanish Society of Pediatric Endocrinology (SEEP)
- Diabetes Foundation

Marisol New. Editor of our site

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