Without a supply of insulin, the body begins to break down fat for energy, releasing a harmful byproduct of ketones in the process.
The warning signs of DKA include:
- Needing to pee more than usual
- Feeling very thirsty
- Being sick
- Tummy pain
- Breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets, or nail varnish)
- Deep or fast breathing
- Feeling very tired or sleepy
- Passing out.
People concerned they have DKA are advised to visit their nearest A&E immediately.
This is because hospital treatment is required for DKA, which includes giving insulin intravenously, meaning insulin is inserted via a vein.