Acute complications

Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition 3(2+1)
Lesson 30:Diabetes – Dietary management

Acute complications

Diabetic ketoacidosis:

  • Elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood decrease the blood’s pH, leading to diabetic keto acidosis.
  • Ketoacidosis can easily become severe enough to cause hypertension, shock, and death
  • More common in type I diabetes than type II.

Hyperglycemia hyperosmolar state

  • This results in loss of water and an increase in blood osmolarity.
  • If fluid is not replaced (by mouth or intravenous), the osmotic effect of high glucose levels, combined with the loss of water, will eventually lead to dehydration.
  • Lethargy may ultimately progress to coma, though this is more common in type II diabetes than type I.


  • Hypoglycemia, is abnormally low blood glucose
  • Severe hypoglycaemia may lead to loss of consciousness leading to coma, seizures, or even brain damage and death
Last modified: Tuesday, 25 October 2011, 6:27 AM