November 22, 2000
Hyperglycemia and DKA
Question from the United Kingdom:
My 13 year old daughter has had type�1 diabetes since she was six years old. Her control has always been pretty good, but she has been hospitalized with ketoacidosis twice in the last two months. They tell me her hormones are causing this, but do not offer me a solution as to how to avoid this again. I am worried about the long term affects if she keeps having such high sugar levels.
Your doctors are probably correct that hormones are involved in your daughter’s episodes of DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. However, I think it would also be well worth having a very frank chat with her about whether she’s been taking all of her insulin injections. By far, the most common cause of DKA in teenagers is omission of insulin.
[Editor’s comment: It might be worth asking for a referral for you and your daughter to see a psychologist or social worker to explore other possible causes for the repeated DKA.